Theft charges vary depending on the offender’s history and the value of what is stolen. The penalties for theft also range accordingly, from misdemeanors with minor sentences to felonies with long prison sentences and heavy fines. Being convicted of a felony in Florida can lead to particularly serious penalties, including a minimum prison sentence that cannot be contested for early release or parole.Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony theft charges, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help prepare your case. Don’t enter the courtroom feeling that you are unprepared to defend against the charges brought against you. Contact the criminal defense attorneys.
Petty Theft Charges and Penalties
Petty theft crime is classified as a misdemeanor and is less severe than grand theft. Generally, stealing less than $300 is classified as petty theft, which carries the following penalties:
- Small monetary fines
- Little to no jail sentence
- Up to 2 years driver’s license suspension
While the penalties for a misdemeanor are much less severe than a felony, a petty theft charge still goes on your criminal record, which can hurt your chances of finding a job, securing a loan, or applying to school, which are high prices to pay for stealing a small amount of money.
Grand Theft Charges and Penalties
Grand theft is a felony, a severe charge with equally severe penalties. A felony usually includes a prison sentence if convicted. Depending on the value of what is stolen, you may face a first, second, or third-degree felony, with the following sentences:
- Third-degree felony: Theft of $300 to $20,000. Fines up to $5,000 and a prison sentence up to 5 years.
- Second-degree felony: Theft of $20,000 to $100,000. Fines up to $10,000 and up to 15 years in prison.
- First-degree felony. Theft of $100,000 or greater. Up to $10,000 in fines and a maximum sentence of 30 years in jail.
Felony sentences for grand theft are intentionally severe compared to the value of what is stolen. For even a first offense, you could find yourself spending much of your life in jail for a first-degree grand theft.
Contact a Lawyer Today
If you have been convicted of petty theft or grand theft, an experienced criminal defense lawyer with expertise in theft law can help defend your rights against overzealous prosecution.