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Difference in severity between petty theft and grand theft

| Feb 24, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Florida law defines theft as taking the money, property, or services of a person or entity without permission. There are two main types of theft recognized in Florida courts. Theft classifications include “petty” and “grand.” The potential legal consequences for a person accused of these crimes are vastly different.

Petty theft

When the value of the stolen property is less than $300, petty theft charges apply. First-degree petty theft happens when the value of the property is between $100 and $300. A conviction for this crime makes it possible for an offender to spend a full year in jail and pay a $1,000 fine.

Second-degree petty theft charges apply when a theft involves property valued at less than $100. Convictions carry a maximum two-month jail term and a $500 fine.

Grand theft

Theft accusations become more serious when the value of the property is more than $300. Individuals who unlawfully take property with a value that reaches the $300 threshold but is less than $20,000 in value are guilty of third-degree grand theft. This offense can result in a five-year term in state prison and cost a convicted person $5,000 in fines.

When property valued at more than $20,000 but less than $100,000 is the target of theft, second-degree grand theft charges become applicable. The maximum penalties for this crime include fifteen years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Third-degree grand theft charges apply to all cases of theft involving property valued at more than $100,000. The maximum fine for these cases is also $10,000. But the maximum prison term increase to 30 years.

Individuals accused of all forms of theft will need to mount a criminal defense to protect themselves against the worst possible outcomes. Accused persons will likely benefit from the help of an attorney while fighting these allegations.