Stealing, or intending to steal, someone else’s property can fall into various categories of crimes. Various types of theft are defined in Florida statutes Chapter 812, and depending on the location of the alleged theft, the value of the items being stolen, and whether or not violence is involved, the penalties for these crimes can vary greatly. Although people may use these terms interchangeably, there are a few important differences to be aware of so that you can avoid legal pitfalls.
If you have been charged with any theft-related offense, you must contact an experienced, aggressive robbery defense lawyer in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm as soon as possible.
In the state of Florida, petit theft (sometimes called “petty theft”) is defined as the act of taking or using property valued below $300, with the intent to deprive the owner of a right or benefit in the property. Petit theft of the first degree involves property valued above $100 but less than $300, while petit theft of the second degree involves property of less than $100.
Petit theft is a misdemeanor offense with penalties that may include jail, probation, community service, and restitution. Typically shoplifting falls under the umbrella of petit theft, unless the total value of what has been stolen is above the threshold for petit theft.
People have likely heard of the video game “Grand Theft Auto”, but it is important to remember that you don’t need to steal something as large as a car to be accused and convicted of grand theft. Grand theft is the unlawful taking of property valued above $300, with intent to deprive the owner of a right or benefit of the property.
Grand theft is a felony and may be punishable by up to 30 years in prison, depending on the degree. Grand theft charges may occur concurrently with larceny, burglary, or robbery.
Larceny, burglary, and robbery are also terms used interchangeably, although incorrectly.
Put simply, larceny is the unlawful taking of property without breaking into private property nor use of force or violence. Robbery involves taking money or property from a person through the use of violence, with or without a deadly weapon, while burglary is unlawfully entering into a structure to commit a crime.
If you have been accused of any crime of theft, it is imperative that you contact legal counsel at The Rickman Law Firm immediately. In order to ensure that your case results in the best possible outcome, our attorneys will closely assess the circumstances of your case, answer any questions, and offer you knowledgeable legal advice.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.