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Types of theft charges and penalties in Florida

Theft crimes encompass a variety of actions. Each has its own set of charges and potential penalties under Florida law.

Understanding the types of theft charges and possible consequences can help you plan your next steps after an arrest.

Petit theft

Petit theft involves the unlawful taking of property valued at $750 or less. Charges can be either petit theft in the second degree or petit theft in the first degree, depending on the value of the stolen property. Petit theft in the second degree is a misdemeanor, punishable by fines and potential jail time. Petit theft in the first degree is a more serious offense, carrying steeper penalties.

Grand theft

Grand theft involves the theft of property valued at more than $750. You may also receive this charge for theft of specific items regardless of value. Examples include a firearm, motor vehicle or controlled substances.

Like petit theft, grand theft encompasses several degrees based on the value and nature of the stolen property. Grand theft is a felony in Florida. Penalties range from fines to significant prison sentences depending on the severity of the offense.


Shoplifting occurs when someone unlawfully takes merchandise from a retail establishment. Shoplifting can result in petit theft or grand theft charges, depending on the value of the stolen goods. In addition to criminal penalties, individuals convicted of shoplifting may face civil penalties. The court can order fines or restitution to the store owner.

Florida prosecuted more than 382,000 property crime cases in 2020 alone, including incidents of burglary, larceny and auto theft. In addition to legal penalties, theft convictions can have long-lasting consequences. Individuals can have difficulty obtaining future employment, housing and other opportunities. Knowing what to expect allows you to navigate these charges effectively.