To bring Florida’s outdated theft statutes current and more aligned with those of other states, Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill that increases the felony theft threshold from $300 to $750. This is the first such change to take effect in over 30 years.
What Is a Theft Threshold?
A threshold is the value of property stolen that increases the level of offense from a misdemeanor to a felony. That meant, under the previous law, if a person pilfered an item worth $305, they could have been charged with third-degree grand theft, which carried a prison sentence of 5 years and a fine of up to $5,000. On top of the criminal penalties, the individual could have faced various collateral consequences, such as a loss of firearm rights and difficulty getting a job or housing.
Under the new law, a person will now face felony theft charges only if the item is worth $750 or more. If a person takes an item valued below that threshold, they will be charged with a misdemeanor.
The new threshold amount is a compromise between criminal justice reformers and those who opposed the change – such as big-box retail chains. Advocates initially proposed to have the threshold increased to $1,000.
Aggregation Period Also Increased
The new law also changes the theft crimes aggregation period, which is the number of days in which the value of items for multiple offenses will be totaled. That is, if a person steals property worth $100 on one day and then takes another item worth $200 on a separate day, the value would be calculated together for a sum of $300. With the legislation changes, the timeframe extended from 2 days to 30 days.
For Effective Legal Counsel, Contact The Law Offices of Kate Mesic, P.A.
If you’re facing a theft crime accusation, retain the services of a skilled defense lawyer as quickly as possible. Backed by over 12 years of legal experience, our attorney knows the law and can help you understand the changes to the statutes and how they might impact your case. Our top priority is to protect your rights, and we will fight relentlessly to work toward getting charges reduced or dropped.
Schedule a consultation today by calling us at (904) 615-8950 or contacting us online.