The Law in Plain English -
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Top Petty Theft Defense Attorney Jason Cromey, Esq. on:
Petit Theft: F.S. 812.014
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Petit Theft - Petty Theft can be charged when the value of the thing that is stolen (or attempted to be stolen) is less than $300.00 or when the value cannot be established by the government. Most Petit Theft charges have to do with shoplifting. Many people think that Petit Theft, or shoplifting, is a small crime and not that big of a deal. This is flat wrong. Theft is what is known under Florida law as an "enhancement" crime, meaning that each time you are convicted the next arrest is more serious. Your first one might be a second degree misdemeanor. A few years later you get arrested again – now it's a first degree misdemeanor. A couple of years go by and you get in trouble again for stealing something as small as a chocolate bar from a gas station. Guess what – you have now been charged with a Third Degree Felony. The stakes are real.
Not only does the charge get more severe over time, the immediate consequences can also be serious. Forget for a second that, even on a second degree misdemeanor, you are facing jail time. Think about trying to get a job when you have been convicted for being a thief? Many employers will not even consider hiring you if you have been convicted of stealing. Retail stores are never going to put you near a register. Many professions, such as nursing, look very badly on convictions like this. The crime of theft is considered a crime of "moral turpitude." In plain English that means that you are a person that cannot be trusted and who does not tell the truth.
There are many defenses to these charges and many of these cases can be won at trial. In order to make sure that you do not squander your future over one bad choice contact criminal defense attorney Jason Cromey to help you fight back against the government.