When it comes to Jacksonville theft charges, the property that is stolen will determine the level of the offense. Under Florida law, a theft crime may range from petit theft to grand theft. Jacksonville petit theft charges are misdemeanors. Petit theft is commonly referred to as petty theft. Jacksonville grand theft charges are felonies. When you are arrested for theft, the action is the same regardless of whether you were arrested for petit theft or grand theft. Whether you were arrested for petty theft or grand theft, you were accused of the following under Section 812.014 of the Florida Statutes:
(1) A person commits theft if he or she knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use, the property of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently:
(a) Deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property.
(b) Appropriate the property to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to the use of the property.
This portion of the law is the same for both felony and misdemeanor charges. The big difference depends on the type of property that was taken or the value of the property that was taken. I am going to use a recent Jacksonville news article to describe this. Action News of Jacksonville reported the following story:
“Two 19-year-old women are accused of stealing a puppy from a pet store in Mandarin. Investigators say Lauren Jaffe and Brooke Seal stuffed an 8-week-old female Yorkshire terrier named Pippy into a purse at Pet World on San Jose Boulevard. Both Jaffe and Seal are facing grand theft charges. Police say Seal tried to return the dog through another woman after the crime. The puppy is now back at the store.”
These two teenage girls are facing charges for felony theft in Jacksonville. Why is this a felony and not a misdemeanor? Why were they arrested for grand theft instead of petit theft? Is it because they stole a puppy? No. They were not arrested for grand theft because they are accused of stealing a dog. Instead, it is the value of the puppy that leads to the grand theft arrests. The puppy is probably worth $300 or more. This is grand theft. If the dog were valued at under $300, the girls would have either been arrested or issued a notice to appear citation for petit theft in Jacksonville.
Under Florida criminal law, the threshold amount between petit theft and grand theft is $300. There are certain items that a person can steal that are valued at less than $300 which would still be considered grand theft under Section 812.014 of the Florida Statutes. Here is the list:
- A will, codicil, or other testamentary instrument.
- A firearm.
- A motor vehicle, except as provided in paragraph (a).
- Any commercially farmed animal, including any animal of the equine, bovine, or swine class or other grazing animal; a bee colony of a registered beekeeper; and aquaculture species raised at a certified aquaculture facility. If the property stolen is aquaculture species raised at a certified aquaculture facility, then a $10,000 fine shall be imposed.
- Any fire extinguisher.
- Any amount of citrus fruit consisting of 2,000 or more individual pieces of fruit.
- Taken from a designated construction site identified by the posting of a sign as provided for in s. 09(2)(d).
- Any stop sign.
- Anhydrous ammonia.
- Any amount of a controlled substance as defined in s. 02. Notwithstanding any other law, separate judgments and sentences for theft of a controlled substance under this subparagraph and for any applicable possession of controlled substance offense under s. 893.13 or trafficking in controlled substance offense under s. 893.135 may be imposed when all such offenses involve the same amount or amounts of a controlled substance.
There are other items that will qualify for grand theft, so if you are interested in learning more, be sure to read the entire statute. If you have been accused of stealing or shoplifting, be sure to speak with a Jacksonville criminal lawyer about your case and your defenses. Call 20 Miles Law at (904) 564-2525 to talk to a Jacksonville criminal attorney.