Florida Statute on shoplifting in Florida
According to Florida Statute, taking away goods, property, money or documents is considered retail theft. Also, theft includes changing or removing a label, universal product code or price tags. Moving goods from one container to another or stealing a shopping basket will be classified as theft. According to Florida shoplifting laws, shoplifting can be classified as petty or grand theft based on the value of the stolen item.
Classification of theft and punishment
Thefts are classified by severity in relation to the value of the stolen property.
· First degree theft. If the stolen property has a value of $ 100,000 or more, you will be charged with grand theft in the first degree that is felony. The maximum punishment in such a case will be imprisonment for 30 years and a fine of up to $ 10,000.
· Second degree theft. If the stolen property is valued between $ 20,000 and $ 100,000, you will face a second-degree theft charge. For this felony, the maximum penalty will be 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $ 10,000.
· Third degree theft. If the stolen property has a value between $ 750 and $ 20,000, you will be charged with third degree theft. A similar charge also applies if you steal a firearm, vehicle, fire extinguisher, farm animal, any stop sign or construction sign. The penalty for third degree theft according to the shoplifting laws in Florida is a maximum of 5 years in prison and a $ 5,000 fine.
Petty theft includes stealing items worth up to $750. Previously, the threshold for petty theft was up to $300. If the value of the item is between $100 and $750, then the crime is classified as a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the item is valued at less than $100, the crime is considered a misdemeanor of the second degree. For items valued at more than $750, you will be charged with felony theft, not petty theft. The most common type of petty theft is shoplifting. They are the most frequently targeted and regulated by shoplifting laws in Florida.
Increased penalties for theft
Shoplifting laws in Florida are tightening punishments for common felonies, repeated petty theft, and theft involving a victim aged 65 and over.
· For a third offense, the court may order an extended prison sentence. The maximum prison sentence is doubled for a second or third degree felony. A felony of the first degree can be punished up to life in prison.
· A crime that is generally classified as petty theft in Florida will qualify as misdemeanor in the first degree if the offender has previously been convicted of any offense of theft. Likewise, two or more previous convictions for theft will turn petty theft into a felony of the third degree.
Theft involving an elderly victim
Theft involving a victim aged 65 and over carries heightened penalties based on the value of the property. For property valued between $300 and $10,000, the crime is a third degree felony. For property valued between $ 10,000 and $ 50,000, the crime is a second-degree felony, and for property worth $ 50,000 or more, the crime is a first-degree felony. In addition, a person who stole more than $1000 worth of property from an elderly victim must pay restitution and perform up to 500 hours of community service.