What is Petit Theft and What Are the Consequences of a Conviction?

petit theft

According to Florida law, petit theft is when an individual takes or attempts to take someone else’s property that is valued under $300. Here’s a deeper look into petit law and the severity and consequences of Miami petty theft charges. 

What is Petit Theft?

The first thing to know about petit theft, as it is defined under Florida law, is that it can occur when someone takes or uses someone else’s property with the intent to deprive the owner of a right or benefit in the property. The police and prosecuting attorneys simply need to establish the intent of theft beyond a reasonable doubt.

Then there is the value of the object which was taken. Petit theft of the first degree occurs when someone steals property that is valued between $100 and $300. Miami petit theft charges can also be brought against individuals who have been accused of taking something valued at less than $100. This is not common, but it can happen. This is known as petit theft of the second degree.


It is important to stop here and note that Miami petty theft charges can be upgraded to grand theft of the third degree if the value of the object is more than $300. This can also occur if the object taken fits certain criteria. This includes stop signs, objects at construction sites, and fire extinguishers. Remember, it is always a good idea to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your unique situation.   

We have answered the question “what is petit theft,” so let’s now look at the criminal and civil consequences of a conviction.

petty theft charges MiamiPetit Thief Conviction Consequences

The consequences of a petit theft conviction vary depending on how the crime is classified. Petit theft of the second degree is, as the name implies, a second-degree misdemeanor. Petit theft of the first degree, on the other hand, is classified as a misdemeanor of the first degree. Each of these brings different penalties. 

Petit theft of the second degree can result in jail time of up to 60 days. You can also be ordered to pay a fine of up to $500, as well as making restitution for the value of the property taken. 

Petit theft of the first degree can result in jail time of up to one year. The judge may also order a fine of as much as $1,000 and restitution payments be made.

Another consequence of being found guilty of petit theft, regardless of which degree, is the suspension of your driver’s license for up to six months. Multiple misdemeanor convictions can extend that suspension to one year. There are other civil penalties as well, which may include exponential restitution and the payment of the victim’s court and attorney fees.

If someone has been convicted of grand theft of the third degree, then they will face jail time of up to five years and a fine of up to $5,000. 

Have You Been Accused of Miami Petty Theft Charges?

Do not wait to contact an attorney if you have been accused of Miami petty theft charges. Police and prosecutors will work tirelessly to convict you. You need someone on your side who will work just as tirelessly to defend you and preserve your rights under the law. Call Piotrowski Law now at (305) 204-5000 for a free consultation and to learn your options.