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Petty Theft in South Florida

Petty theft in South Florida (petit theft) is a crime classified as a misdemeanor. It is the unlawful taking of another’s property that has a value of less than $300. Petty theft is divided into two degrees of crime. First degree petty theft is for property taken that has a value of under $300 but above $100. If the item is valued at less than $100 the crime is a second degree misdemeanor. The punishment for these two crimes is different. A first degree petty theft is punishable by a year in jail, a year of probation and/or a $1000 fine. A second degree petty theft is punishable by a six month jail sentence, six months of probation, and/or a $500 fine. The biggest punishment that defendants face if convicted for petty theft is that your Florida driver’s license can be suspended.

If you are convicted and adjudicated of a petty theft crime your driver’s license will be suspended. You should never plead guilty, even if you committed the offense. An experienced Miami, or Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer may be able to get the charges dropped, or dismissed. If not dismissed or dropped an attorney will ensure you get a withhold of adjudication which will save your driving privileges and your criminal record.

The most common form of petty theft charge is shoplifting. Shoplifting is when you fail to pay for something in a store with the intent to steal. The value of the item taken will determine whether you are charged with a first or second degree misdemeanor. Most first offenders will not be adjudicated and either be given a first offender program or probation. The key to defending a petty theft charge is to ensure that you don’t end up with a criminal record. You should hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as you can to discuss all of the details of your case, and your prior record if any. While a petty theft charge may seem minor, if not handled correctly the consequences of a conviction can be devastating.

– Commentary by Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Yale Galanter:

Yale Galanter, a Miami criminal defense lawyer, has over 30 years of experience providing discreet and aggressive legal counseling to both public figures and clients looking for precise and excellent legal defense. Yale Galanter is known for his personal representation and attention to your criminal matter.

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Contact the Miami law offices of Yale Galanter at (305) 576-0244 or (954) 524-6600 or browse through the rest of our site.


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The Galanter Law website should not be considered as actual legal advice, or legal recommendations. This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal, legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements, or online literature. Before you decide on a criminal defense attorney, ask Galanter Law to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience.