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Florida’s New Theft Threshold Amounts

In Dean v. State, __ So. 3d __, 45 Fla. L. Weekly D2088b (5th DCA 2020), the court found that the amendment to section 812.014, Florida Statutes (2019), applied retroactively.

Until September 30, 2019, Florida’s theft statute, § 812.014(2)(c)1., Fla. Stat. (2019), made theft of $300 or more, but less than $5,000, a third-degree felony. The amendment to § 812.014(2)(c)1., Fla. Stat., reduced the penalty for theft between $300 and $749 from a third-degree felony to a first-degree misdemeanor and changed the monetary requirements of third-degree theft to $750 or more, but less than $5,000, effective as of October 1, 2019.

Critics of raising the threshold amounts argued that the change would incentivize offenders to steal items of greater value, although studies in other states to make this change did not have that problem.

For example, a study of 23 states that changed felony theft thresholds between 2001 and 2011 revealed:

  • increasing the felony theft threshold had no impact on the states’ overall property crime or larceny rates;
  • the states that increased the thresholds reported roughly the same average decrease in crime as the 27 states that did not; and
  • the amount of a state’s felony theft threshold did not correlate with the state’s property crime and larceny rates.

See Lauren Krisai, Stuck in the 80s: Time for Reform of Florida’s Felony Theft Threshold, The Journal of the James Madison Institute (Spring 2017).


Changes for Other Types of Theft Crimes in Florida

Effective on October 1, 2019, a new law in Florida passed under 2019 CS/HB 7125 increases the threshold amounts for the following theft offenses:

Offense 

Old  Threshold 

New Threshold 

≥ $100, but 

≤ $300 

≥ $100, but 

≤ $750 

≥ $300, but 

≤ $20,000 

≥ $750, but 

≤ $20,000

Florida new theft law that takes effect on October 1, 2019, also increases the threshold amounts for other theft offenses including:

Offense

Offense Level

page9image1863331552

Old Threshold

page9image1863330016

New Threshold

page9image1863345200

Second Degree Misdemeanor

< $300

< $1,000

Third Degree Felony

≥ $300

≥ $1,000

page9image1863369856page9image1863370112

Second Degree Misdemeanor

< $300

< $1,000

page9image1863395184

Third Degree Felony

≥ $300

page9image1844381360page9image1862314176

≥ $1,000

Removal of Property

Upon Which a Lien Has Accrued

page9image1844324640

Second Degree Misdemeanor

≤ $50

< $1,000

page9image1844314304

Third Degree Felony

page9image1844316176

˃ $50

≥ $1,000

page9image1862323984

Sale of Used Motor Vehicle Goods

as New

First Degree Misdemeanor

None

page9image1844357248

< $1,000

Third Degree Felony

˃ $100

page9image1844405568

≥ $1,000


Attorneys for Theft Charges in Florida

If you were charged with a theft charge in Tampa, FL, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm. Contact us to find out how 2019 CS/HB 7125 increases the threshold amounts for theft charges in Florida.

Whether you are charged with petit theft in the first or second degree, or any grand theft case, we can help.

We also represent clients charged with theft of state funds, obtaining food or lodging, removal of the property upon which a lien has accrued, or sale of used motor vehicle goods.

Call 813-250-0500.


This article was last updated on Friday, September 4, 2020.

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