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COVID-19 & Florida Theft Crimes

Although there has been an increase in domestic violence calls in Florida since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in the United States, there has also been an increased in felony crimes, including theft crimes such as grand theft.

According to the Dothan Eagle, Jackson County law enforcement officials arrested and charged a Houston County juvenile with grand theft, grand theft of a firearm, and armed burglary of a dwelling after burglarizing a building with a stolen gun and tried to steal a vehicle to escape the scene. ABC7 reported on April 1 that the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office was looking for a person or group of individuals accused of grand theft and burglary removing five RV trailers in Bradenton and stealing contents inside those trailers.

The coronavirus outbreak has forced many businesses to close its doors until further notice, which has also led to many people losing their jobs. These frightening and uncertain times, mixed with unemployment and the stress of supporting the family, can result in desperation, causing people to commit theft in order to stock up on essential items and survive.

There are two types of theft crimes in Florida: petit theft and grand theft. While grand theft is more serious than petit theft, each offense carries serious penalties like jail or prison time, fines, and other harsh consequences like driver’s license suspension.

The following is a breakdown of the penalties associated with theft crimes in Florida:

  • Second-degree petit theft - Stealing property worth less than $100 is a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a jail sentence of up to 60 days and a maximum fine of $500.
  • First-degree petit theft - Stealing property worth at least $100 but then than $300 is a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries a maximum jail term of one year and a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Third-degree grand theft - Stealing property from someone’s home worth between $100 and $300, property worth $20,000 not in a home, firearms, wills, or a motor vehicle is a third-degree felony, punishable by a maximum five-year prison term and a fine of up to $5,000.
  • Second-degree grand theft - Stealing property worth between $20,000 and $100,000, interstate or intrastate cargo worth less than $50,000, or emergency medical equipment or police equipment worth at least $300 is a second-degree felony, which carries a prison term of up to five years and a maximum fine of $10,000.
  • First-degree grand theft - Stealing property worth more than $100,000, interstate or intrastate cargo worth more than $50,000, or any grand theft involving a motor vehicle as an instrument of the offense and causing more than $1,000 worth of property damage is a first-degree felony, punishable by a maximum prison sentence of 30 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

If you have been charged with grand theft in Miami-Dade County or Broward County, contact The Hoffman Firm today at (305) 928-1669 and schedule a free consultation.

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