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Monday, March 20, 2023

An Overview of Petty Theft Laws in Florida

Petty theft is a crime that can have serious consequences in the state of Florida. Committing even minor thefts can result in criminal prosecution and the imposition of hefty fines, probation, or incarceration. Before engaging in any activity involving possibly stolen items or goods, it is important to understand the various laws and regulations related to petty theft in Florida. In this article, we will provide an overview of Florida’s Petty Theft Laws including what constitutes a petty theft offense as well as potential punishments for those found guilty of committing such offenses. We will also discuss possible defenses to such charges and other legal considerations associated with petty theft crimes. Finally, we will explore resources that may be beneficial for those wishing to learn more about the repercussions associated with violating these laws.

What is Petty Theft?

Petty theft is a term used to describe the illegal taking of goods or money that belongs to another person without their permission. It typically includes items such as money, car parts, property, jewelry, and computer equipment. Petty theft cases usually involve lower dollar amounts taken in stolen items than more serious crimes like grand theft or burglary; however, depending on the jurisdiction laws vary greatly regarding what constitutes petty theft. The consequences for engaging in petty theft vary but may result from simple warnings from law enforcement to imprisonment with hefty fines potentially being assessed by a court as well. 

Penalties for Petty Theft in Florida


Petty theft in the state of Florida is defined as stealing items that have a value of $750 or less. The penalties for this type of crime are severe and vary greatly depending on the severity and frequency of such offenses. Generally, petty thefts are considered misdemeanors; however, they can sometimes be charged as felonies if there is evidence that the offender has committed multiple previous similar incidents or if the stolen item had a particularly high monetary value attached to it. 

If a person is found guilty of petty theft, he/she may face up to one year in prison, fines up to $1,000 with possible sanctions including probation and restitution payments to compensate any individual who suffered a loss due to their actions. In addition to these criminal punishments imposed by the court system, anyone convicted will also likely have difficulty finding employment thanks to the public stigma associated with having a criminal record – even for minor crimes like theft. 

It’s important for anyone living in Florida (or visiting here) to not take chances with shoplifting or any other form of acquiring goods without paying for them; serious legal repercussions can result which could follow an individual long after his/her sentence has been served.

Defenses to Petty Theft Charges in Florida

When it comes to defending against petty theft charges in Florida, some common strategies utilized by criminal defense attorneys include establishing that there was no evidence of intentional wrongdoing or proving mistaken identity due to similar products being sold at different stores. In addition, defendants may also be able to argue entrapment or diminished capacity (i.e., mental impairment) as valid excuses which could result in their cases being dismissed altogether if successful. Furthermore, concerning plea bargaining; defendants will often be given more lenient sentences such as probation and community service instead of jail time provided they are willing to negotiate with prosecutors on their behalf rather than relying upon court-appointed representation solely for help during trial proceedings.

Consider learning more about petty theft laws in Florida by visiting the attorneys at Hanlon Law.

Hanlon Law
210 N Pierce St
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 228-7095
https://www.criminalattorneytampa.net

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Attorney Will Hanlon
Attorney Will Hanlonhttps://www.criminalattorneytampa.net/
As a native Floridian and criminal defense attorney, my family history in Tampa spans generations. Since being admitted to The Florida Bar almost 20 years ago, I founded Hanlon Law and have gained extensive legal experience in criminal courtrooms in and around Tampa and throughout Florida.

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