Shoplifting: a term often associated with young teenagers and their penchant for swiping a candy bar or, at worse, a video game from the local department store. While true, some shoplifting misdeeds fall within the category of petit (or “petty”) theft, others can quickly amount to a felony grand larceny charge – even if the item seems small or insignificant.
In Florida, there is a distinction between petit and grand theft crimes that hinges on the value of the item at the time it was stolen. Therefore, if a prankster swipes a cell phone from the counter at Best Buy, that offender could actually be facing a grand larceny charge if the particular item stolen was worth more than $300.00 – as many phones are.
While serious, a larceny charge can possibly be reduced or dismissed all together with the help of a Bradenton juvenile lawyer – so contact the Fowler Law Group today.
Understanding Florida’s Theft Laws
As explained above, the pivotal issue in a theft crimes case is the value of the property stolen. In most cases, the term “value” is considered the market value of the item at the time the theft occurred. In other words, an offender cannot catch a break if the item happened to be on clearance at the time of the offense.
Grand larceny is further categorized into three degrees of severity. First degree grand larceny involves theft of items valued at more than $100,000 and carries a maximum jail sentence of up to 30 years. Second degree grand larceny involves theft of items valued between $20,000 and $100,000, and carries a maximum jail sentence of up to 15 years. Lastly, third degree grand larceny involves theft of an item valued between $300 and $20,000, and carries a maximum jail sentence up to five years. All forms of grand larceny are considered a felonies, and many thefts by juveniles could easily fit into the third degree grand larceny category, including video games, sneakers, clothing, electronics or jewelry.
Petit larceny is categories into two degrees of severity. First degree petit larceny involves theft of items valued at $100 up to $300, whereas second degree larceny involves theft of items under $100. Both of these offenses, while misdemeanors, could result in a maximum jail sentence of up to one year, as well as significant fines up to $1,000.
Not to be taken lightly, a grand or petit larceny charge can leave lasting effects on a juvenile’s criminal record, hampering employment opportunities or enrollment in college.
Contact Our Firm Today!
If you or your child would like to receive more information about our juvenile law representation, we encourage you to give us a call today. A theft crime may seem “minor” at the time, but if the value of the property stolen exceeds $300.00, the offender could easily face a felony charge. For assistance with your Bradenton theft charge, call us at (941) 900-3100.