Effective October 1st 2019, Florida has raised the threshold for felony theft from $300 to $750. This increase was made to adjust for inflation and is the first increase in Florida since 1986. 37 other states have already made this change since 2000.
Originally the measure called for an increase from $300 to $1500 but not all of the committee members were in support of this and the committee reached a compromise to raise the threshold to $750.
Changes To Felony Theft Law
The measure also came with some other changes to the theft statutes.
Threshold for felony theft of state funds increased from $300 to $1000
Threshold of obtaining food or lodging with intent to defraud increased from $300 to $1000 for a felony
Threshold for removal of property with a lien increased from $50 to $1000 for a felony • Threshold for selling used vehicles and goods as new increased from $100 to $1000 for a felony.
On top of changing the threshold for felony theft charges, the statute also increased the aggregation period from 2 days to 30 days.This means that the prosecutor can add up the value of all goods stolen over that extended period of time to determine whether or not you should be charged with a felony or misdemeanor. For example if you steal something worth $100 and then 2 weeks later you teal something else worth $700, you will face a felony charge, rather than two separate misdemeanor charges.
Impact of Changes to Florida Theft Statute
By increasing the threshold amount of what constitutes a felony theft verses a misdemeanor theft, people who steal goods valued under $750 will now be charged with a misdemeanor instead of a felony. This means that those people will no longer face a felony conviction and the collateral consequences and the stigma that comes with that, such as the inability to find a job as a convicted felon or the inability to own a gun as a convicted felon.
Tampa Theft Crime Attorney
Despite the changes of the theft statute, any theft crime is still a serious offense. Even a misdemeanor theft or misdemeanor shoplifting charge is an impeachable offense and can be used against you to question your credibility in court. Certain employers, especially for jobs that require the handling of money will not hire individuals who have a conviction for any type of theft crime no matter if it is a misdemeanor or felony. Therefore, it is important to hire a knowledgable theft crime attorney as soon as possible. Kerstin Wade has represented individuals charged with petit theft, felony theft, retail theft, embezzlement, dealing in stolen property and other theft crimes for over 10 years. Call us today to speak to an attorney at 813-401-0130.