A person commits theft when he or she knowingly acquires or uses the property of someone else to benefit from it. Theft involves crimes such as shoplifting, burglary and robbery.
In Florida, penalties for theft include probation, prison time and fines. The court determines the time and a fine amount by the value of the property. Grand theft is a felony offense. Florida statute divides the crime into three categories.
Grand theft of the third degree includes property stolen with a value of $750 to $20,000. Other stolen property may consist of:
- Commercially farmed animals
- 2,000 or more individual pieces of citrus fruit
- Stop signs
- Controlled substances
With a third-degree grand theft felony, the offender may serve less time and the fines may not be as severe as the other two categories. Penalties include serving up to a five-year prison term and paying a fine up to $5,000.
- Second degree
Stealing emergency medical equipment may net a second-degree grand theft charge. Medical equipment is any device used to deliver emergency services. A second-degree charge also involves taking law enforcement equipment. Law enforcement equipment is anything used during official business. If a person steals any of this property after the governor declares a state of emergency, the theft becomes a first-degree charge.
A person charged with a second-degree felony may receive up to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $15,000.
- First degree
Florida statute considers stolen property valued between $20,000 and $100,000 a first-degree felony. Other stolen property placed in this category includes:
- Interstate or intrastate cargo valued at less than $50,000
- Emergency medical equipment estimated at $300 or more and stolen from a registered facility, or licensed aircraft or vehicle
- Law enforcement equipment of more than $300 taken from an official vehicle
An individual charged with a first-degree offense may serve a prison term of up to 30 years in prison and pay a fine up to $10,000.