St. Petersburg Theft Crimes Lawyer

Theft crimes occur when someone is accused of removing someone else’s property without permission. Other terms used to describe such crimes include petit theft, petty theft, grand theft, larceny or shoplifting. If you have been accused of stealing, the potential penalties in the State of Florida are severe. You should consult with an experienced theft crimes lawyer today.

Many times these offenses can occur by mistake. For instance, a customer might accidentally walk out of a store simply forgetting to pay for an item. The accused could be charged with shoplifting or another theft crime. Even though it may occur as an innocent mistake, the State of Florida will likely prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.

No matter how severe or minor in nature, in the State of Florida, if someone has been convicted of a theft offense, it can often prevent that person from getting many types of jobs, obtaining professional licenses and can even prevent someone from attending most colleges and schools.

Theft Crimes Lawyer
Sometimes theft charges are a mistake. If you have been charged with theft, know your rights and speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney today.

What are the different types of theft crimes?

Below is a list of common offenses that occur in St. Petersburg. William B. Bennett has over 20 years experience as a criminal defense lawyer defending against these types of charges.

Petit Theft

A charge for this offense occurs when a person takes another’s property with the intent to keep it. For first and second degree offenses, the charge is a misdemeanor. Although rare, a felony charge can occur for third degree offenses.

The degree of a petit theft charge depends on the amount or value of the property stolen. First degree offenses are theft cases where the property stolen is valued up to $300. Stolen property valued at more than $300 is often classified as grand theft.

Grand Theft

This offense happens when a person takes another’s property with the intent to keep it and that property is valued at more than $300. The degree of this type of offense can be first, second and third degree felony charges.

The degree of the charge depends on the amount stolen. A third degree grand theft charge is when property stolen is valued between $300 to $20,000. A second degree charge is one between $20,000 and $100,000. A first degree grand theft charge is for offenses occurring where the property stolen is valued over $100,000.

Car Jacking

Car jacking, also commonly known as grand theft auto, is an offense where a person intentionally takes a car or motor vehicle from another person with the intent of preventing that person from having a motor vehicle. The charge for this type of offense is a first degree felony.


Shoplifting is an offense when someone intentionally steals an item from a retail store and can also include the act of removing or switching price tags or placing merchandise in other containers. Florida laws for shoplifting are more severe than other states and a conviction for shoplifting can carry a first or second degree felony.

What are the penalties for stealing?

The theft laws in the State of Florida provide a general guideline for the sentences one can receive for various theft crimes. However, so many factors come into play such as whether a weapon was used in the theft, the amount and value of the theft and whether or not the offender had previously committed offenses.

The penalties listed are to provide you with a general overview. If you would like a free consultation on your specific case, please contact the theft crimes lawyer at William B. Bennett today.

  • An individual convicted of a second degree petit theft crime may receive up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
  • An individual convicted of a first degree petit theft crime can receive a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail
  • For a shoplifting crime over $300, a person may receive a third degree felony, a $5,000 fine and five years in prison.
  • A shoplifting offense over $3,000 can carry a first degree felony, 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • Car jacking and first degree grand theft may come with a first degree felony, fines over $10,000 and a prison sentence of 30 years to life.

William B. Bennett, P.A. | Theft Crimes Attorney | Criminal defense you can trust

Contact William B. Bennett, P.A. today for a free consultation on your case. William Bennett is a highly experienced criminal law attorney in St. Petersburg, Florida with over 20 years experience. He will work hard to help you avoid the most serious punishments for a criminal offense.