In the State of Florida, individuals charged with stealing property between $0.01 and $300 in value are typically charged with a “petit theft” offense. Petit theft can either be classified as a First or Second-Degree Misdemeanor. Regardless of the degree of the offense, a convicted Defendant may face imprisonment, fines, civil liabilities, and even suspension of a driver’s license.
With the help of a Boca Raton petit theft defense lawyer, you could learn about different legal options that may benefit your case. Contact our theft defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert today to begin developing a strong and legally valid defense.
Degrees of Petit Theft
If someone is convicted of petit theft in the second degree, meaning the allegedly stolen item was worth less than $100 in value, they may incur a Second-Degree Misdemeanor charge on their record. As a result, they may face 60 days of imprisonment and fines of up to $500.
When someone is accused of petit theft in the first degree, the allegedly stolen item is typically worth more than $100 but less than $300. Accordingly, the Defendant may face up to 12 months of incarceration and possible fines of up to $1,000, if convicted.
Potential Consequences of Boca Raton Petit Theft Charges
On top of the fines and potential jail time someone may face for a conviction of petit theft, a convicted Defendant may also deal with expensive civil liabilities. A person convicted of petit theft in Boca Raton may be forced to reimburse the Plaintiff’s court costs and attorney fees. Additionally, they could be requested to pay up to three times the amount of financial damage caused, which often means paying three times the price of the item(s) stolen.
Regardless of the cost of an item, if an individual is convicted of Misdemeanor theft, they may have their driver’s license suspended. Furthermore, when a theft conviction is a repeat offense, their license is typically suspended by the court for up to six months for a first offense. Because the consequences can be severe, anyone accused of petit theft should retain a seasoned defense attorney for the duration of their case.
The Impact of Prior Convictions
If someone accused of petit theft was previously convicted of any theft offense, they may risk elevating the classification of their charge. Instead of a Second-Degree Misdemeanor, the offense could be considered a First-Degree Misdemeanor. This would also increase any potential penalties associated with such an offense.
When a person who is charged with an initial First-Degree Misdemeanor offense has also been convicted of a theft offense two or more times in the past, the petit theft offense could escalate to a Third-Degree Felony charge. This may lead to up to five years of incarceration and fines of up to $5,000. Whether someone is a first-time shoplifter or has been convicted of petit theft multiple times in the past, a skilled petit theft defense lawyer in Boca Raton might be able to assist them as they attempt to fight the charge.
Schedule an Appointment with a Boca Raton Petit Theft Defense Attorney
When facing a petit theft charge, you may be concerned about the degree of charge you are facing, the penalties that could result, and what your legal proceedings may look like. Contact a Boca Raton petit theft lawyer today and ask about the various legal options that could improve your defense.
Understanding the difference between a Misdemeanor or Felony charge could significantly influence the way a case unfolds legally. Call Leifert & Leifert to learn more about petit theft defenses in Boca Raton and to get advice from an accomplished attorney before proceeding to court.