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Theft Crimes in Pinellas County

Florida’s theft statute, Section 812.014(1), F.S., provides that a person commits “theft” if he or she knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or use, the property of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently:

  1. Deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property; or
  2. Appropriate the property to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to the use of the property.

The statute distinguishes between “grand theft” and “petit theft.”

If you were accused of a crime of theft in Pinellas County, FL, then the case will be prosecuted at the Criminal Justice Center (CJC) courthouse in Clearwater, FL.

Attorney for Theft Crimes in Pinellas County, FL

The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm represent clients charged with theft crimes in Pinellas County, FL, including both petit theft, grand theft, and burglary.

Whether you were charged with shoplifting a small item or grand theft involving high-valued property, we can help.

Our criminal defense attorneys for Pinellas County, FL, also help employers who received a wage theft notice in Pinellas County, FL, related to claims that an employer illegally withheld pay or violated wage deduction laws.

We understand the standard operating procedures used by law enforcement agencies in Pinellas County, FL. including the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and local police departments throughout St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Largo, and Pinellas Park.

Contact us for a free consultation to discuss the charge pending against you, the potential penalties, and the best defenses to fight the case in court.

Our office is located at 14010 Roosevelt Blvd Suite 701, Clearwater, FL 33762-3820. 

Call 727-210-7004.

Penalties for Petit Theft in Florida

Petit theft is generally theft of property valued at less than $750 or property without a specific monetary value that is not listed in s. 812.014(2), F.S.

Except as provided in s. 812.014(2)(d), F.S., if the property stolen is valued at $100 or more, but less than $750, the offender commits petit theft of the first degree, which is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by not more than one year in county jail and a fine not exceeding $1,000 as explained in Sections 775.082 and 775.083, F.S.

Theft of any property not specified in s. 812.014(2), F.S., is petit theft of the second degree, which is a second degree misdemeanor punishable by not more than one year in county jail and a fine not exceeding $1,000 as explained in Sections 775.082 and 775.083, F.S.

Under Section 812.014(3)(c) and 921.0022(3)(a), F.S., a person who commits petit theft and who has previously been convicted of any theft commits a first degree misdemeanor or a Level 1 third degree felony if there are two (2 )or more previous theft convictions.

Under Sections 812.014(6) and 921.0022(3)(b), F.S., a person commits a Level 4 second degree felony if that person individually, or in concert with one or more other persons, coordinates the activities of one or more persons in committing theft under s. 812.014, F.S., where the stolen property has a value in excess of $3,000.

Penalties for Grand Theft in Florida

Most crimes for grand theft involve the theft of property valued at $750 or more. The degree and punishment of grand theft increase based on the value of the stolen property including:

  • $750 or more, but less than $5,000, it is grand theft of the third degree and a Level 2 third degree felony under Sections 812.014(2)(c)1. and 921.0022(3)(b), F.S.;
  • $5,000 or more, but less than $10,000, it is grand theft of the third degree and a Level 3 third degree felony under Sections 812.014(2)(c)2. and 921.0022(3)(c), F.S.;
  • $10,000 or more, but less than $20,000, it is grand theft of the third degree and a Level 4 third degree felony under Sections 812.014(2)(c)3. and 921.0022(3)(d), F.S.;
  • $20,000 or more, but less than $100,000, it is grand theft of the second degree and a Level 6 second degree felony under Sections 812.014(2)(b)1. and 921.0022(3)(f), F.S.; and
  • $100,000 or more, it is grand theft of the first degree and a Level 7 first degree felony under Sections 812.014(2)(a)1. and 921.0022(3)(g), F.S.

Additionally, s. 812.014(2)(d), F.S., provides that theft of property valued at $100 or more, but less than $750, is grand theft of the third degree punishable by not more than 5 years in state prison and a fine not exceeding $5,000 as explained in Sections 775.082 and 775.083, F.S. But see ss. 775.082(10) and 921.00241, F.S. (prison diversion).

Grand theft penalties under Section 812.014(2)(c)4.-13., are more severe than petit theft penalties. The enhanced penalties are triggered by the theft of an item listed in the statute, such as a fire extinguisher, regardless of the value of that listed item. For example, other crimes for grand theft based on the type of property stolen include:

  • grand theft in which a motor vehicle is used as an instrumentality in committing the theft (s. 812.014(2)(a)3.a., F.S.);
  • theft of a semitrailer deployed by a law enforcement officer; and
  • theft of cargo, emergency medical equipment, and law enforcement equipment in a specified property value range (s. 812.014(2)(a)1. and 2., (2)(b)2., 3., and 4., F.S.).

If the property was taken from a dwelling or its unenclosed curtilage, then the offense is classified as a Level 2 third degree felony as explained in Section 921.0022(3)(b), F.S.

The penalties for grand theft are also subject to enhancement if the crime was committed after a declaration of an emergency and facilitated by the emergency and during a riot or an aggravated riot (s. 812.014(2)(b) and (c), F.S.).

Additional Resources

Theft Crimes in Pinellas County – Visit the website of Pinellas County to learn more about consumer protection, theft crimes,  and identify theft. The site defines “identify theft” as occurring “when your personal information is stolen and used without your knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes. Identity theft can cost you time and money, destroy your credit and ruin your good name.” The site offers advice about protecting your information including shredding all documents that show personal, financial, and medical information before putting them in the trash, reviewing your financial records frequently, and using anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a firewall on your computer. For more information, contact:

Consumer Protection in Pinellas County
14250 49th Street North
Suite 1000, Rm 2
Clearwater, FL 33762
(727) 464-6200

File Report for Theft with the Pinellas Park Police Department – Visit the website of the Pinellas Park Police Department to learn more about how to report a theft crime using the online reporting system including Bicycle Theft, Check Fraud (less than $300), Credit Card Fraud (less than $300), Identity Theft, Mail Theft/Stolen Packages, Shoplifting (loss prevention officer file online), Theft (greater than $750), Vandalism/Criminal Mischief (less than $1,000) and Vehicle Burglary (late reported). The citizen police report system also allows you to obtain an unofficial copy of the police report for an offense that occurs within the City of Pinellas Park, Florida. The website explains why you need to speak with an officer to file a report regarding a stolen tag, or motor vehicle including a car, motorcycle, scooter, or boat. For more information contact:

City of Pinellas Park
Police Department
7700 59th Street
Pinellas Park, FL 33781
Telephone: 727-369-7864

Wage Theft and Recovery Ordinance in Pinellas – Read the “Wage Theft and Recovery Ordinance” enacted pursuant to F.S. § 125.86, and the home rule powers of Pinellas County, and County Charter section 2.03. Sec. 70-306 prohibits wage theft violations for failing to pay any portion of wages due to an employee, according to the wage rate applicable to that employee, within a reasonable time from the date on which that employee performed the work for which those wages were compensation. The ordinance allows recovery of up to three times the amount of back wages. Repeat Violation constitutes a separate County ordinance violation enforced under sections 1-8 of the Pinellas County Code by Pinellas County. Section 70-307 explains the procedures for wage theft and retaliation complaints. Section 70-308 explains enforcement of wage theft and retaliation violations including the ability of Pinellas County, upon consulting with PCOHR, to bring an independent proceeding and pursue any relief authorized under section 1-8 of the Pinellas County Code against an employer for repeat violations. Those powers are separate and distinct from an action brought by an aggrieved employee for relief under this article pursuant to section 70-306.

This article was last updated on Friday, September 2, 2022.

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