Petit Theft, or petty theft, occurs when someone knowingly takes property, valued at less than $300.00, belonging to someone else, and intends to permanently, or even temporarily, deprive the owner of the property’s use or benefit. Simply put, theft is considered petit if the stolen item(s) cost less than $300. Florida defines this crime in Florida Statute 812.014.
Petit Theft of the First Degree
Florida breaks up the category of Petit Theft into two different levels. Petit Theft of the First Degree encompasses property valued at $100.00 to $299.99. If you are convicted of this charge, you could face being imprisoned for up to one year and a fine of up to $1000.00. Additionally, you will have a criminal record stating that you have been convicted of a misdemeanor.
Petit Theft of the Second Degree
Second-degree petit theft encompasses any property valued at less than $100.00. If you are convicted of this charge, you could be imprisoned up to 60 days and fined up to $500.00. You will have a criminal record that you have been convicted of a misdemeanor.
Noted Exceptions in Florida
Florida makes certain exceptions to what it defines as Petit Theft. Be careful of these exceptions because they can result in a felony.
- If you go into someone’s home and steal something, then you will be guilty of a felony, no matter the value of the property stolen.
- If you want to protect a loved one’s will, and you take it home without permission, you have committed a felony.
- If you take someone’s fire extinguisher, then you have committed a felony.
- Steal a STOP sign? It is a felony.
- Stealing a car is a felony.
- Stealing more than 2,000 pieces of citrus fruit is a third degree felony.
- Stealing an animal used for commercial purposes is a felony.
- If you steal any firearm, no matter the value, it is a felony.
Remember, a felony is more serious than a misdemeanor. If convicted of stealing any of these items, you could be imprisoned for up to 5 years.
Contact the Law Firm of Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins P.A. for Legal Representation
You do not want a petit theft conviction on your record. If you are charged with a crime, do not say anything. Immediately ask to speak to a lawyer and call Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins P.A.