Petty theft, also known as petty larceny, is one of the most common forms of crime in the
United States. As a society, we are raised to understand how immoral and wrong it is to
steal something that is not yours. As you grow older, however, you begin to realize the
complicated nature of what is considered theft and why someone may commit a crime.
If you have been charged with petty theft, it is vital you contact a criminal defense
attorney as soon as possible. Many people are charged with petty theft even if they don’t
necessarily fit the parameters of what the charge actually entails. A petty theft attorney
understands the complexity of Naples law and can help investigate your case and build your
defense. Additionally, if you have been wrongfully accused or charged, it is crucial your
rights be protected.
According to Florida law, theft is the deliberate act of obtaining or using
another’s property with the intention to appropriate it for their own good.
There are many different levels of theft, depending on the property stolen and
the offender’s criminal history. In Florida, a petty theft charge is reserved
for property or items valued at more than $100 but less than $750.
A person who has committed petty theft in the past is also subject to higher
penalties, and the charge is no longer considered petty theft. There are also
certain items that may fit into the category of petty theft financially but will
result in a more severe charge, like a third-degree felony. Notable items can
The intentional theft of any of these items will immediately result in a
third-degree felony charge, which may result in up to a $5,000 fine and five
years in prison.
The typical punishment for petty theft is dependent on the financial amount of
the stolen property. For items under $100, penalties can include up to a $500
fine and six months in jail. This is considered the least serious theft charge
and is referred to as second-degree petty theft. For petty theft charges over
$100, you are charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree. A conviction can
lead to up to $1,000 in fines and a year in jail.
You may also be subject to additional fees, depending on property damage and your
specific case. Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 812.032 states:
“…[a person] who has caused personal injury, property damage, or other
loss, may, upon motion of the state attorney, be sentenced to pay a fine
that does not exceed twice the gross value gained or twice the gross
loss caused, whichever is greater, plus the cost of investigation and
This means if any physical damage is done to any other humans or property as a
direct result of the theft, you may have to pay a fine as a result. These
additional fees will depend on the court and all fines will be determined at a
A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer in Naples, FL can immediately get to work
building up your defense. Defenses can include motive and lack of knowledge of
proper ownership. Florida law requires criminal theft cases to meet certain
guidelines for the offender to be considered guilty. The court must find
reasonable doubt the defendant has committed any of the following knowingly and
Stole the victim’s property
Intentionally took the victim’s property to deny them usage of it
Stole the victim’s property for their own ownership or gain
If you have been wrongly accused or charged with petty theft, your attorney can
help to ascertain the property was rightfully yours, or at least as you
understood it to be. If the defendant is not fully aware the property is not
theirs to have, the court can not fully suspect it was intentionally stolen.
Proving this to a court of law takes extensive legal background, and criminal
defense attorney Robert H. Hanaford possesses just that.
You may think there is nothing to be done about your petty theft charge. With help from the
Law Office of Robert H. Hanaford, you can give yourself and your case a fighting chance at
the best possible outcome. Hanaford uses his 38 years of legal experience to give his
clients the justice they deserve. His personalized and judgment-free approach will be a
source of comfort as you navigate the legal options best suited to your case.
Join the numerous clients Hanaford has been able to help in Naples by scheduling a free consultation. We understand the stress and time-sensitive nature of being charged with a
crime you did not commit. To set your appointment today, call (239) 351-1904 or use our online Contact form.
Hanaford Law Offices is a criminal defense attorney providing
high-quality legal services in Florida across Naples SW Florida and Chicago Illinois.