What is Petty Theft?
Petty Theft, in general terms, is when someone takes something of value from another person without permission and with the intent to keep that item for themselves. The actual item can be anything, as long as it has value.
The Value of the Item is the Key:
Petty Theft is called “petty” because of the low value of the property or item taken. In Florida, second degree Petty Theft (referred to as “Petit Theft”) is when the value of the property or item stolen is valued at less than $100. In this case, the offender has committed Petit Theft of the second degree, which is a misdemeanor of the second degree.
First Degree Petit Theft in Florida is punishable as a misdemeanor of the first degree, and it is when the property stolen is valued at less than $300 but more than $100.
Examples of Petit Theft:
We all probably know someone who is guilty of taking something from a store without paying for it, or maybe we experimented in Petit Theft ourselves when we stole that candy bar from the grocery store in the 7th grade. But here are a few other examples of Petit Theft that you may not have thought about:
Gobbling down a bag of chips and chugging a soda and not paying at checkout
Eating at a restaurant without paying your bill – otherwise known as “Dine and Dash”
Trying something on in the dressing room on the department store and “forgetting” to take it off
Altering or switching price tags of merchandise so you pay a lesser price
Placing a higher priced product into the box of a lower priced item
Petit Theft – Punishments and Short-Term Consequences:
In most cases, Petit Theft is a low-level misdemeanor offense, the punishment for which is typically a fine, a couple of days in jail, or both. In Florida, a second-degree misdemeanor Petit Theft offense carries a sentence of not more than 60 days in jail and a fine not to exceed $500.
First degree Petit Theft in Florida is punishable as a misdemeanor of the first degree and the offender may receive a sentence of not less than one year in jail and a fine of not more than $1,000.
At the Misdemeanor Clinic, we believe that good people can have bad days. If you have been charged with Petit Theft in the state of Florida, it is important for you to be represented by an attorney. Call the Misdemeanor Clinic today at (561) 425-8229 or visit us at www.misdemeanorclinic.com – WE CAN HELP!