Florida law recognizes two types of theft and property crimes. The first is crimes of theft—taking property. The second involves trespassing onto or damaging property. Depending on the circumstances and the severity of the alleged offenses, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony.
If you find yourself under investigation for either type, it’s crucial that you retain an experienced Florida theft and property crimes attorney to give yourself the best odds of fighting the charges and winning. With a firm like LJ Law Group, which has a demonstrable track record of successful outcomes for its clients, you have the best chance of a positive outcome when you’re accused of any theft or property crime.
What Constitutes Theft or Property Crimes?
Under the Florida Statutes, the definition of theft is that an individual knowingly and willfully uses or obtains the property of another person with the intent to eventually deprive the owner of the right to or benefit of the property.
Property Theft Crimes
Most property crimes in Florida can be quickly and easily designated as either retail, petit, or grand theft. The following are some common charges and their associated statute number:
- Shoplifting or Retail Theft (812.015). A person is guilty of shoplifting if they steal from a store or change or alter a label or tag for the specific purpose of defrauding the store.
- Petit Theft (812.014). This occurs when one person takes another’s property and doesn’t bring it back or attempts to keep it. There are first- and second-degree charges depending on the property’s value.
- Grand Theft (812.014). Charges of grand theft can be pursued if the value of the stolen property is over $750. Grand theft is a felony and can be first-, second-, or third-degree.
Property Damage and Trespassing
Often involving damaging, trespassing, or unlawfully entering a structure or building, common property crimes in Florida include the following:
- Criminal Mischief (806.13). This is intentional or malicious damage, such as graffiti, to someone else’s property. It includes third-degree felony and first- and second-degree misdemeanor charges.
- Criminal Trespass (810.08). This crime involves entering property without permission (including permission that was rescinded). Arrest can be on first- or second-degree misdemeanor charges.
- Arson (806.01). Arson is intentionally and willfully damaging a building, dwelling, or structure with fire or explosives. Generally, arson is a second- or third-degree felony.
Possible Penalties for Florida Property Crimes and Theft
- Second-degree misdemeanor: 60 days in jail and $500 fine
- First-degree misdemeanor: One year in jail and $1,000 fine
- Third-degree felony: 5 years in prison and $5,000 fine
- Second-degree felony: 15 years in prison and $10,000 fine
- First-degree felony: 30 years in prison and $10,000 fine
Why Choose LJ Law Group?
When you reach out to LJ Law Group for a case evaluation, you’ll get the benefit of a wealth of experience in criminal defense. Give yourself the best possible ally against allegations of theft or property crimes. Contact us promptly.