In Florida, Petit Theft is the unauthorized taking of property valued less than $300.00 with the intent to temporality or permanently deprive the owner the right or benefit of the property. Petty theft in Florida can be classified as a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the number of prior Petit Theft convictions. Petty Theft in Florida has many possible defenses, which must be reviewed and analyzed by a skilled Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer or Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer.
Penalties for Petty Theft in Florida
The penalties associated with Petty Theft in Florida depend on whether one is charged with a misdemeanor or felony.
Penalties for Petty Theft (Misdemeanor)
Petty theft of property valued less than $100.00 is a Second Degree Misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum penalty of up to sixty (60) days in county jail, six (6) months probation, and a $500.00.
Petty theft of property valued less than $300.00 but more than $100.00 is First Degree Misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum penalty of up to one (1) year in county jail, one (1) year of probation, a $1,000.00 fine, and in some cases, a one (1) year suspension of driving privileges.
Penalties for Petty Theft (Felony)
Petty theft may be classified as a felony if a defendant has two (2) prior petty theft convictions. Felony Petty Theft is classified as a Third Degree Felony, which is punishable by a maximum penalty of up to five (5) years in prison. five (5) years of probation, a $5,000.00 fine, and, in some cases, a one (1) suspension of driving privileges.
Pretrial Intervention for Petty Theft in Florida
The charge of Petty Theft in Florida may be referred to the Pretrial Intervention (PTI) Program in Florida. The PTI Program is run by the State Attorney’s Office in any particular county. PTI is generally reserved for defendant’s with a minimal prior criminal history.
The PTI Program is similar to probation, in the sense that a defendant must report to an officer, submit to random drug tests, participate in drug treatment, and comply with any specific requirements ordered by the State Attorney’s Office. The potential of having a Possession of a Cocaine charge referred to the PTI Program requires details negotiations between a skilled Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney and the State Attorney’s Office. If a defendant successfully completes the PTI Program, all criminal charges will be dropped.
Defenses to Petty Theft
A skilled Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer can present a number of different defenses to the charge of Petty Theft in Florida. The following list are some of the most common defenses, but deos not represent an exhaustive list.
- Altered price tags by previous customers;
- Mistakenly exiting establishment;
- Forgetting items in cart or stroller;
- Exiting store for purposes other than to steal; or
- Mistaken identity.
Do I Need an Attorney for Petty Theft in Florida?
While generally classified as a misdemeanor, Petty Theft in Florida is a serious criminal offense that carries possible incarceration. A conviction will permanently interfere with an individual’s ability to obtain employment, pass background checks, gain admissions to college, or obtain security clearances.
A Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney is critical to avoiding or minimizing the harsh consequences as well as avoid future issues associated with this charge, such as enhancement to a felony.
Contact Florida Petty Theft Lawyer and Jacksonville Criminal Law Attorney Michael Rainka
If you have been arrested or charged with Petty Theft in Florida, including Jacksonville, Duval County, St. Johns, County, Nassau County, Clay County, Flagler County, or Northeast Florida, contact Rainka Law now. Michael Rainka is a skilled and aggressive Florida Petty Theft Defense Attorney and Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney. The initial consultation is always free.