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How does Florida handle theft charges?

On Behalf of | Dec 22, 2021 | Criminal Defense, Theft & Property Crimes

Facing criminal charges can feel worse during the holiday season. While others are thinking about parties and presents, a shoplifting charge can have you worried about fines and jail time.

As the holiday season continues, stores are on the lookout for shoplifting. Florida prosecutors take shoplifting seriously, so theft charges could lead to steep consequences.

Here’s what you should know about the consequences of shoplifting in Florida.

Degrees of charges

The degree (and subsequent penalties) for a shoplifting charge depend primarily on the value of the stolen merchandise. As the value of the item increases, so do the penalties.

In Florida, fines start at $500 and go up depending on the value of the stolen merchandise, the circumstance surrounding the theft and whether there have been prior convictions. Similarly, jail time increases with the type of conviction and could lead to jail or time in state prison.

It is important to consider that you likely will face fines substantially more than the value of the shoplifted item in addition to the jail time.

Your license could be at stake

In addition to fines and jail time, Florida has additional consequences for first-degree petit theft. For your first conviction, you could lose your drivers’ license for six months. A second (or greater) conviction could mean your license is suspended for one year.

Consequences build

Florida has steep consequences for all theft offenses. Still, it is essential to remember that every subsequent offense could carry a worse punishment.

Theft charges are serious, and the consequences could impact many areas of your life. You should not face criminal charges alone. It is critical to talk to an experienced professional.