In Florida, petty theft is considered a misdemeanor offense. Often referred to as shoplifting, a person can only be charged with petty theft if they knowingly took the property of another with the intent of permanently or temporarily depriving that person of their property.
The Difference Between Petit Larceny and Grand Larceny
The value of the property stolen will determine whether a crime is petit larceny or grand larceny. If the items total a value of less than $300, it is petty. If the items total more than $300, it is considered grand theft.
How Shoplifting Can Influence Your Charges
If you are accused of shoplifting or you have been convicted of shoplifting in the past, you may find a higher charge for your petty theft. That means instead of a second degree misdemeanor you may be charged with a first degree misdemeanor – which means more jail time and higher fines.
Penalties for Petty Theft and Shoplifting
The penalties for petty theft vary greatly and the circumstances surrounding the arrest may change your sentence if convicted. For petty theft/shoplifting, you could face:
- Up to 60 days in jail and up to $500 in fines for Petit Theft of the Second Degree.
- Up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines for Petit Theft of the First Degree
- Up to 5 years in jail and up to $5,000 in fines for Grand Theft of the Third Degree
- Up to 15 years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines for Grand Theft of the Second Degree
- Up to 30 years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines for Grand Theft of the First Degree.
But, the penalties do not just stop at jail time and fines. Florida also carries civil penalties for being charged with petty theft. If convicted, you could also face:
- A driver’s license suspension
- Civil liability – you could be required to pay the affected party up to three times the amount of goods stolen and reimburse the attorneys’ fees and court costs of the victim
Aggressive Petty Theft and Shoplifting Defense Lawyers in Miami
If you have been arrested for petty theft/shoplifting, do not assume that the penalties are minimal. You could face serious jail time if convicted; therefore, you need an attorney to help protect your rights and represent you in court. The team at Paul J. Donnelly in Miami can help. We offer an aggressive defense to petty theft and shoplifting charges and we can help you. Contact us for a no obligation consultation by dialing 305-964-8591 now.