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Florida Theft Laws: Types & Degree of Thefts in FL

For over a decade, from 2007 to 2017, theft represented 61% of the crimes committed in Florida. Larceny is a common offense, and according to Florida theft laws, these crimes can be classified and punished based on the amount and type of property stolen, among other factors. 

Without a proper defense, a theft charge can result in jail time, hefty fines, restitution, and, in some cases, the suspension of your driver’s license. Since a conviction for larceny is associated with far-reaching consequences, it may be in your best interest to seek legal representation. 

If you were arrested or charged for larceny near Orlando, theft crime lawyer Zarina Hernandez may be able to help you. At Z. Hernandez Law, we represent both English and Spanish-speaking clients. Contact us to schedule a consultation.  

What Is Larceny in Florida?

According to Florida law, theft consists of illegally taking someone’s property to keep it for personal use or depriving the owner of using his property or obtaining any benefits from it. 

Based on the value of the stolen property, Florida Section 812.014 classifies theft crimes as grand theft (grand larceny) and petty or petit theft. These larceny laws also establish that the type of goods stolen may determine whether the theft is charged as petty or grand theft. 

Grand theft in Florida occurs when the property stolen is:

  • Valued at over $750
  • A motor vehicle
  • A firearm
  • Medical or law enforcement equipment valued at $300 or more
  • Taken from a dwelling and has a value greater than $100 but less than $750
  • A semitrailer deployed by a law enforcement office

In Florida, grand larceny offenses involve stealing property valued at $750 or more. As explained in the sections below, the severity of a grand theft charge varies depending on the value of the stolen property. 

On the other hand, petty or petit thefts in Florida are larceny offenses whose severity is not enough to be considered grand theft. In simple terms, petty or petit theft is the crime of stealing or attempting to steal property valued at less than $750. 

Often, shoplifting and retail theft in Florida is associated with petty or petit thefts. However, if the goods stolen exceed $750, these offenses could be charged as grand theft. In summary, based on the value of the property taken, retail theft and shoplifting in Florida could be considered a misdemeanor or a felony. 

Types of theft charges we handle 

Theft crime lawyer Zarina Hernandez represents clients facing larceny charges in Orlando, Maitland, Ocoee, and surrounding areas. Below is a description of some of the theft charges we handle:

  • Petty or petit thefts are a less severe form of larceny. In these cases, the amount involved does not exceed $750. 
  • Grand thefts are larceny offenses involving stealing goods or property often valued at $750 or greater. 
  • Carjacking consists of stealing a motor vehicle with the use of force or violence. 
  • Robbery is a form of theft that involving the use of force or violence against the victim. 

Florida theft laws do not take larceny offenses lightly. If you are facing criminal charges near Orlando, an experienced theft crime attorney can assess your case and help you identify a suitable legal path for your situation. Call (407) 900-8490 today to schedule an appointment with a criminal defense lawyer. 

Degrees of Larceny in Florida

In Florida, charges for theft crimes range from a second-degree misdemeanor to a felony of the first degree. Overall, petty or petit thefts are classified as misdemeanors, while grand theft is considered a felony offense. 

Punishments for petit theft in Florida

A first offense is charged as a misdemeanor of the second degree, which can lead to up to 60 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500. However, a subsequent offense will increase the charges to a first-degree misdemeanor. 

The penalties for this type of conviction are up to 1 year of jail time and a fine of up to $1,000. In addition to these punishments, offenders may also have their driver’s license suspended. 

In Florida, a petty or petit theft felony occurs when an offender has two or more convictions for larceny. In these cases, penalties include up to 5 years of imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000. 

Sentences and degrees for grand theft in Florida

As mentioned before, grand larceny offenses are considered felonies. However, depending on the type of goods and the amount of value stolen, there are lesser and more serious forms of grand theft:

OffenseValue / Property StolenMaximum FineMaximum Imprisonment
3rd Degree Felony Grand Theft$750 or more but less than $20,000. $100 or more but less than $750 when taken from a dwelling.A commercially farmed animal, firearm, will or testament, and motor vehicle.  $5,0005 years
2nd Degree Felony Grand TheftMedical or law enforcement equipment valued at $300 or more. $20,000 or more but less than $100,000. Cargo in intrastate or interstate routes valued at less than $50,000. $10,00015 years
1st Degree Felony Grand Theft$100,000 or more. Semitrailer deployed by law enforcement. Cargo in intrastate or interstate routes valued at $50,000 or more. $10,00030 years

Penalties for other felony theft crimes

OffenseType of FelonyMaximum FineMaximum Imprisonment
Theft of $300 but less than $10,000 from a person 65 years of age or olderThird degree$5,0005 years
Robbery by sudden snatchingThird degree$5,0005 years
Theft of $10,000 but less than $50,000 from a person 65 years of age or olderSecond degree$10,00015 years
Strong-arm robbery without a weaponSecond degree$10,00015 years
Home-invasion robbery First degree$10,00030 years
Carjacking First degree$10,00030 years
Theft of $50,000 or more from a person 65 years of age or olderFirst degree $10,000 30 years

Carrying a deadly weapon while committing a felony of the first degree can lead to life imprisonment. Additionally, if you gain any value or the offense results in personal injury or property damages, the court may impose an extra fine of twice the value gained, or the gross loss caused. 

Get Quality Representation – Speak to An Orlando Theft Lawyer

Facing criminal charges can be overwhelming, especially when your future and freedom are at stake. A prompt and aggressive defense may help you lessen your charges or the harsh consequences of a conviction. 

Z. Hernandez Law represents clients facing theft charges in Orlando, Kissimmee, Maitland, Ocoee, Ocala, and surrounding cities. If you are seeking legal representation to fight your theft charges, contact us today via email or call (407) 900-8490 to schedule a consultation.  

FAQs about Larceny Offenses in Florida

Can grand theft be expunged in Florida?

As long as the offender meets the requirements established by Florida Section 943.0585, a grand theft offense can be expunged in Florida. Robbery, home invasion robbery, robbery by sudden snatching, and carjacking are theft-related crimes that are not eligible for expungement. 

Is petit theft a misdemeanor exception in Florida?

By law, police officers require a warrant to perform an arrest for most misdemeanors. Retail theft is considered a misdemeanor exception because it is a warrantless arrest crime. This means law enforcement officers can arrest a person without a warrant if there is probable cause to believe that such person committed retail theft. 

What is the difference between petty theft and grand theft?

According to Florida theft laws, the difference between petty or petit theft and grand larceny lies in the value of the property stolen. Petit larceny is the theft of property valued at less than $750. On the other hand, grand larceny is a theft felony associated with property appraised over $750.

In Florida, grand larceny also includes stealing certain goods such as commercially farmed animals, firearms, cargo, motor vehicles, etc. 

Can petit theft charges be dropped in Florida?

Depending on the circumstances of your case, petty or petit theft charges may be dropped if your criminal defense attorney can prove your innocence or negotiate with the prosecutor. These negotiations may include completing a diversion program.

Given that each case is unique, it may be in your best interest to speak to a theft crime lawyer and explore the most suitable defenses for your situation. If you were charged with theft in Orange County or surrounding areas, we might be able to help. Contact us today to book a consultation. 

Legal information reviewed by:
Zarina Hernandez | Founder & Attorney

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