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Petit Theft Attorneys in Orlando, FL

Understanding Petit Theft (Shoplifting) with an Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney

Under Sec. 812.014, Florida Statutes, the elements of Petit Theft in Florida are:

  • A person unlawfully obtained or endeavored to obtain property belonging to another person;
  • The person had the intent to deprive the other person of his or her property, or to appropriate that property for someone not entitled to it; AND
  • The property stolen is valued at less than $750.

Penalties for Petit Theft in Florida

The penalties for Petit Theft vary depending on the value of the property stolen and whether you have any prior convictions for theft of any kind. Additionally, a conviction for any type of Petit Theft will result in your driver’s license being suspended as follows:

  • 6 months for the first suspension
  • 1 year if your driver’s license has previously been suspended for Petit Theft
Type of Petit Theft Penalty
Petit Theft of Less Than $100 of Stolen Property Second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days of jail or 6 months of probation, and a $500 fine.
Petit Theft of $100 to $749 of Stolen Property First-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year of jail or probation, and a $1,000 fine.
Petit Theft with Prior Conviction for Theft First-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year of jail or probation, and a $1,000 fine.
Petit Theft with Two or More Prior Convictions for Theft Third-degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years of jail or probation, and a $5,000 fine.

Penalties for Petit Theft of Less Than $100 of Stolen Property

Petit Theft of Less Than $100 of Stolen Property is a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida, which is punishable by up to 60 days of jail or 6 months of probation, and a $500 fine.

Penalties for Petit Theft of $100 to $749 of Stolen Property

Petit Theft of $100 to $749 of Stolen Property is a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida, which is punishable by up to 1 year of jail or probation, and a $1,000 fine.

Penalties for Petit Theft with Prior Conviction for Theft

Petit Theft is a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida if you had a prior conviction for theft of any kind, punishable by up to 1 year of jail or probation, and a $1,000 fine.

Penalties for Petit Theft with Two or More Prior Convictions for Theft

Petit Theft is a third-degree felony in Florida if you have two or more convictions for theft of any kind, punishable by up to 5 years of jail or probation, and a $5,000 fine.

How to Fight a Charge of Petit Theft in Florida

When faced with a charge of Petit Theft in Florida, it’s crucial to understand the defenses available to you. Here are some potential strategies:

Lack of Intent

The prosecution must prove that you intentionally stole or attempted to steal the property. If you did not intend to take the property or believed you had permission to do so, you could argue lack of intent. For instance, if you accidentally left a store with an item you didn’t pay for because you forgot it was in your cart, this could be a valid defense.

Abandonment

Even if you began to commit a crime, you cannot be found guilty if you voluntarily abandoned the crime before completion. This defense requires clear evidence that you willingly gave up your criminal intent.

Proving Value of Stolen Property

If you’re charged with stealing property worth $100 or more but less than $750, the prosecution must prove the property’s value. If they fail to do so, or if the property’s value can’t be determined, you could be found guilty of a lesser charge: Petit Theft of Less than $100 of Stolen Property, a second-degree misdemeanor.

Motion to Suppress

A motion to suppress is a request to exclude evidence obtained in violation of your constitutional rights. For instance, if the police conducted an illegal search of your property, any evidence obtained from that search could be suppressed.

Alibi Defense

If you can prove that you were somewhere else at the time the alleged theft occurred, you could use an alibi defense. This defense requires strong evidence, such as surveillance footage or witness testimony, to confirm your whereabouts during the alleged crime.

Other Potential Defenses

There are many other strategies we can use to challenge the State’s case or prove your innocence. These could include demonstrating that there is insufficient evidence supporting the charge, or that the property in question actually belonged to you. Each case is unique, and the best defense strategy will depend on the specific circumstances of your case.

At Leppard Law, our experienced Florida defense lawyers are skilled at crafting effective defense strategies for Petit Theft charges. We understand the complexities of Florida theft laws and will work tirelessly to protect your rights and interests. If you’re facing a Petit Theft charge, don’t hesitate to contact us at (407) 476-4111 for a consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is considered Petit Theft in Florida?

Petit Theft in Florida is defined as unlawfully obtaining or attempting to obtain property belonging to another person, with the intent to deprive the other person of his or her property, or to appropriate that property for someone not entitled to it. The property stolen must be valued at less than $750.

What are the penalties for Petit Theft in Florida?

The penalties for Petit Theft in Florida vary depending on the value of the property stolen and whether you have any prior convictions for theft. Penalties can range from a second-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 60 days of jail or 6 months of probation and a $500 fine, to a third-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 5 years of jail or probation, and a $5,000 fine if you have two or more convictions for theft of any kind.

Can I fight a charge of Petit Theft in Florida?

Yes, there are several defenses that can be used when fighting a charge of Petit Theft in Florida. These include lack of intent, abandonment, proving the value of stolen property, and others. It is recommended to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your case.

What happens if I’m convicted of Petit Theft in Florida?

If you’re convicted of Petit Theft in Florida, you could face jail time, probation, fines, and your driver’s license could be suspended. The exact penalties depend on the value of the property stolen and whether you have any prior convictions for theft.

How can Leppard Law help me if I’m charged with Petit Theft in Florida?

Leppard Law has experienced Florida defense lawyers who have defended thousands of Central Florida criminal cases. They understand petit theft laws and are skilled, knowledgeable, persistent, and tenacious when it comes to protecting their clients. They can target the weaknesses of the prosecution’s argument and create an effective defense strategy on behalf of their clients.

Contact Leppard Law Today. Protect Your Life, Liberty, and Property!

If you’re being charged with petit theft in Florida get in touch with our experienced Florida defense lawyers for petit theft at Leppard Law immediately as possible to protect your rights and interests. Our attorneys have defended thousands of Central Florida criminal cases and we have over 50 years of Criminal Defense Experience combined. We are able to safeguard your future and understand petit theft laws. We’re skilled, knowledgeable, persistent, and tenacious when it comes to protecting our clients.

Our highly experienced Florida criminal defense lawyers are determined to target the weaknesses of the prosecution’s argument and create an effective defense strategy on behalf of our clients. Our track record of success both in and outside courtrooms is proof enough. For more information on the ways that Leppard Law can make an impact for you, contact us at (407) 476-4111 now.

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