What's the Difference?

Grand Theft

When the item taken during the theft crime is considered to be particularly valuable, it is generally categorized as grand theft. Some ways that first degree grand theft can occur include when the defendant is accused of taking property valued at $100,000 or more or taking shipping cargo valued at $50,000 or more. It may also be charged for committing a grand theft while using a motor vehicle as an instrument other than as a getaway or committing a theft that results in damage to real or personal property more than $3,000.

This is considered a first degree felony, punishable with the following:

  • Imprisonment not exceeding 30 years; and
  • Monetary fine not exceeding $10,000.

This is the severest form of grand theft. It, however, is not the only level. Grand theft of the second degree can be charged should the defendant be accused of taking property that is valued between $100,000 and $20,000, shipping cargo valued less than $50,000 or emergency medical equipment valued more than $300 from a licensed facility. It can also be charged for the taking of law enforcement equipment from an authorized emergency vehicle that is valued at more than $300.

This is a second degree felony, punishable with the following:

  • Imprisonment not exceeding 15 years; and
  • Monetary fine not exceeding $10,000.

The lowest degree is grand theft of the third degree. This is still an extremely serious crime which can be charged when the property that was taken was valued between $300 and $20,000; was a will, codicil or testamentary instrument; was a firearm of any kind; a motor vehicle; or a commercially farmed animal. It can also include the theft of fire extinguishers, 2,000 or more pieces of citrus fruit, the theft from any designated construction site, a stop sign, anhydrous ammonia, or a controlled substance defined under F.S. §893.02.

This is a third degree felony, punishable with the following:

  • Imprisonment not exceeding 5 years; and
  • Monetary fine not exceeding $5,000.

Petit Theft

More "minor" thefts are typically classified as petit thefts. This, however, does not mean that they are not serious. The penalties for these crimes are still serious and deserve aggressive defense. Per Florida Statutes, a petit theft of the first degree occurs when the property taken is valued between $100 and $300 or if the defendant has a prior theft conviction on their criminal record.

This is a first degree misdemeanor, punishable with the following:

  • Imprisonment not exceeding a year; and
  • Monetary fine not exceeding $1,000.

If the item is valued at less $100, it is considered to be a petit theft of the second degree. This is considered to be a second degree misdemeanor, which can be punishable with up to six months in jail and a fine that does not exceed $500. Due to these penalties, it is extremely important that you contact our firm as soon as possible for help in protecting your rights against an unjust conviction. You can trust we will fight for you.

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