Consequences of Petit Theft in Florida
The penalties you face if you are convicted of petit theft in Florida may result in jail time, even though the crime is typically not considered to be very serious. Florida law imposes the following range in punishment for petit theft convictions:
- Second Degree Misdemeanor – An individual convicted of second degree petit theft is facing a second degree misdemeanor which carries with it the potential for jail time not to exceed sixty days and the imposition of a fine not to exceed $500.
- First Degree Misdemeanor – An individual convicted of first degree petit theft is facing a first degree misdemeanor which carries with it the potential for jail time not to exceed one year and the imposition of a fine not to exceed $1,000.
In addition to facing potential jail time and fines, you also face civil penalties to provide compensation to the individual whose property was stolen. Such penalties are dependent upon the value of the property taken. Further, having a petit theft conviction on your criminal record will be a visible scar to prospective employers who review your job applications and run a mandatory criminal background check. Admissions committees at colleges or universities you wish to attend will also see this blemish on your criminal record, and this is just one strike against you that could prevent you from being accepted to the school of your choice.
Given that there are a multitude of negative consequences that may result from a petit theft conviction in Florida, it is in your best interest to take all steps possible to overcome the petit theft charge without serving jail time and without tarnishing your criminal record forever. With the guidance of Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Marc A. Joseph, P.A., you will have the best defense possible to fight the petit theft charge against you. If possible, Marc A. Joseph, P.A. will seek to have the petit theft charge dismissed. It is not unheard of for law enforcement officers to violate your constitutional rights in the course of an arrest (such as a failure to read you your Miranda rights).
If it is simply not possible or highly unlikely that your Florida petit theft charge can be dismissed, Marc A. Joseph, P.A. will negotiate with the charging prosecutor to reach a result that will be fair to you given the severity of your conduct. If you are a first time offender, you may be able to avoid a conviction on your record, and instead may plead to a lesser charge and/or agree to a deferred adjudication or other diversion program in lieu of being convicted and serving jail time and/or paying hefty fines. However, as part of any deferred adjudication or diversion program, there will be terms that you must adhere to in order to successfully complete the program and overcome your Florida petit theft charge with a clean slate.
If you already have a blemished criminal record, it is even more crucial that you speak with Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Marc A. Joseph, P.A. right away. While you may have a tougher climb to avoid another petit theft conviction on your record and/or to avoid jail time, the stronger your attorney is, the better defense you will have, and the more likely that you will be able to reach an outcome that you believe is fair given the facts of your case.
Contact Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Marc A. Joseph, P.A. Today for a Free Consultation
If you or someone you know is facing Florida petit theft charges, it is imperative that you consider speaking with a qualified Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney right away. Even though petit or “petty” theft does not typically result in the same severe consequences as grand theft and other theft-related charges, it is still a criminal charge that should be taken seriously. Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Marc A. Joseph, P.A. treats all petty theft charges just as seriously as any other criminal charge, as each and every client deserves thorough one-on-one legal representation. With more than 16 years of experience helping his clients fight petty theft and other criminal charges, Marc A. Joseph, P.A. has the skill, reputation and dedication to help you reach the most reasonable outcome to your current situation. If you would like to speak with Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Marc A. Joseph, P.A., contact our office today by calling (813) 234-6374 to schedule your free consultation. Marc A. Joseph, P.A., also provides Robbery Legal Defense Services in Tampa, and is available 24/7 to answer your questions and address your concerns.