Understanding Florida’s Felony Theft Threshold



When law enforcement responds to a call where individuals are accused of a crime, they rely on evidence and reason to determine if detaining the person accused is lawful. In theft-related cases, being accused of this crime and getting arrested can be very serious and lead to life-changing consequences.

If you are facing charges for felony theft, it’s essential to understand the penalties of this criminal charge based upon Florida’s theft threshold and how an Orlando criminal defense attorney may strategize a skilled defense to help ensure that unreliable evidence is pinned against you. At Fighter Law Firm, our board-certified attorney, Thomas Feiter, has helped thousands of clients build a strategic defense against their criminal charges.

What Is Felony Theft in Florida?

A felony is the category of a charge you can face for a criminal offense, and the penalties typically vary within the mandatory sentencing for the offense. Compared to misdemeanors, felonies remain on your record and cause damage to a convicted person’s personal, professional, and everyday life.

There are different degrees to a crime. The categorization of a theft crime differs based on the amount stolen and if the total monetary amounts to the threshold according to the law. Under Florida statute 812.014, theft occurs when someone:

“…knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use, the property of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently:

(a) Deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property.

(b) Appropriate the property to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to the use of the property.”

Property concerning theft can reference personal property, real property, property rights and benefits, and many others. The type of items stolen, the total amounts, and the number of offenses an individual faces can determine the types of felonies they may be subjected to for this crime.

What Is Florida’s Felony Theft Threshold?

In Florida, theft becomes a felony when the amount of stolen items surpasses $750. In the past, the threshold for a felony charge was $350, but Governor Ron Desantis recently changed the law in 2019. Anything less than $750 may be considered petty theft and treated as a misdemeanor charge. Depending on the property’s value, a person convicted can face severe criminal penalties and lose certain privileges.

Types of Penalties for Felony Theft Charges

A felony theft charge is much more severe than shoplifting or petty theft. Once this offense reaches a felony, jail time is typically an expected penalty, even if sentencing results in the minimum penalties for a first offense. Depending on the category of the charge and the number of offenses, those convicted of felony theft often face life-changing consequences.

First Degree Grand Theft Felony

The most severe category of felony theft is of the first degree. An individual may be convicted of this crime for any of the following forms of theft:

  • Stealing property valued up to $100,000 or more
  • Stealing cargo valued at more than $50,000 and involves interstate or interstate commerce
  • Theft that causes more than $1,000 in real or personal property damages

This crime is punishable by up to thirty years imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.

Second Degree Grand Theft Felony

A second-degree grand theft crime carries a penalty of up to fifteen years in prison and up to $10,000 dollars in fines. One may face felony theft of the second degree for stealing property valued between $5,000 and $20,000 in a looting incident, property valued between $20,000 and $100,000, any cargo valued less than $50,000, and emergency equipment valued at $300 or more.

Third Degree Grand Theft Felony

A third-degree felony involving theft typically results in up to five years in prison and a $5,000 dollar fine. Thefts constituted under the third degree are any property valued between $750 and $20,000, any property taken from in or around someone’s home valued between $100 and $750, and varying thefts involving firearms, farm animals, or any amount of a controlled substance.

Escalated Charges for Specific Theft Situations

Additionally, cases involving elderly victims, habitual offenses, and repeat petit theft crimes escalate to higher penalties and consequences. Depending on the number of offenses and additional circumstances in a case, a judge may escalate the penalties of the convicted regardless of Florida’s felony theft threshold. Hiring a lawyer right away can help you put your best foot forward when facing serious charges.

Partner With an Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney at Fighter Law for a Skilled Defense

Facing a criminal felony charge is very serious, regardless of the degree of crime you may be accused of committing. If you are facing the challenges of being accused of a theft crime, a skilled criminal defense attorney may help you build a strategic defense and evaluate all aspects of your case. Individuals are wrongfully arrested without sufficient cause or evidence to be labeled with committing a crime.

Our experienced legal team at Fighter Law has helped many clients’ cases result in dropped charges and lesser penalties by refuting weak evidence, using an aggressive defense, and protecting the rights of those arrested. To speak with our legal team, complete a contact form or call us at (407) 344-4837 to schedule a free consultation.

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