What is Petit Theft?

Posted on December 15, 2012 in: Petit Theft/Grand Theft

Even though it’s classified as a misdemeanor, a petit theft charge in Florida can lead to serious consequences, including fines and jail time, if you’re convicted of such charges in Miami or elsewhere in the state. Theft defense lawyers in Miami can review your case to pursue appropriate avenues to represent you throughout the legal process.

A mark like that on your record can cause headaches. Just think about what it would be like to apply for a job and have to explain a theft conviction.  Defense lawyers can work with you to make sure that your rights are protected each step of the way.

What is a Florida petit theft charge?

According to the 2012 Florida statutes, a person commits petit theft, a misdemeanor in the 1st degree (also commonly known as petty theft) when he or she steals any property that is valued between $100 and $299. This charge can be classified as a second-degree misdemeanor for property valued at less than $100. In some cases, it may even be classified as a third-degree felony, depending on whether the charge is for a subsequent theft.

In any case, when you’re facing a theft charge in Miami, it’s best not to leave your future to chance. Consulting theft defense lawyers is something you want to do as soon as possible after an arrest for these crimes.

What is the impact of a charge for petit theft in Miami?

Theft defense lawyers will caution you that a theft conviction in Miami can affect you regarding your finances, transportation, employment and more. Here’s a look at some common penalties:

  • Fines – Maximum $500 fine for a second-degree offense (property stolen is valued at less than $100) or $1,000 for a 1st degree offense (property stolen is valued between $100 and $299);
  • Jail time – Maximum sentence of 60 days in jail for a second-degree offense or one year in jail for a first-degree offense; and
  • Driver’s license suspension – A guilty verdict results in a license suspension of six months, with subsequent suspensions to last one year.

It’s important to note that Florida statutes call for anyone who commits petit theft and has two or more theft convictions on his or her record be charged with a third-degree felony, at which points the stakes rise significantly.

Building a strong theft defense with lawyers well versed in Miami criminal law is your best course of action to minimize the impact of these proceedings on your life. For instance, depending on the circumstances, your attorney may work to defend your rights in some of the following ways, including: acquittal, sentence reduction, requests for leniency and efforts to suppress illegally obtained documents.

Hiring a Defense Lawyer to Defend Against Miami Theft Charges

The theft and criminal defense lawyers in Miami at Falk & Ross are dedicated to representing clients charged with felonies and misdemeanors across the state of Florida. We are here to make sure our clients’ rights are protected and that they receive a fair trial. Call 1-877-663-5110 or 1-305-741-6997 today to discuss your petit theft case.

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