A woman was recently arrested for stealing a puppy in Orlando. The puppy was a $1,295 Yorkie that was up for sale at an Orlando pet store. The surveillance video from the store depicts the woman taking the puppy from a cage. After the woman saw the surveillance video on television she returned the puppy by placing it in a dumpster behind the store. She thought that if she returned the dog, she would not have to face criminal charges. The owner of the puppy store plans on pressing charges in hopes that this will prevent any future theft. In Florida, there are certain factors that a prosecutor must prove in order to convict a person of theft.
Theft in Florida
According to Florida law, a person can be convicted of a theft if the person knowingly obtains, tries to obtain, or uses the property of another. The person can be convicted of theft even if the property is only taken for a temporary period, as was the case with the puppy. In addition, the person committing the theft must deprive the other person of the property.
Penalties for Theft
When a person is found guilty and convicted of theft in Florida, the penalty for committing the crime is determined by taking the cost of the item into account. For instance, if a person were to take property that is worth $100,000 or more can be charged with a grand theft felony offense in the first degree. A person who is convicted of a grand theft in the first degree can be sent to jail for up to 30 years with a fine that could be up to $10,000. If the woman in the case ends up being charged and convicted, she could be charged with grand theft in the third degree, which is a felony. If convicted the woman can be charged with up to five years of probation or prison and a $5,000 fine.
If a product costs less than $300 but more than $100 then the person can be charged with petit theft. This is a first-degree misdemeanor that is punishable by a prison sentence of no less than one year and a fine of up to $1000. If the theft is worth less than $100, then the person will be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. If a person has a record for committing more than one misdemeanor, then the person will be charged with a more serious charge.
When a person is charged with theft, although it may seem like a less severe charge than a murder, it should still be taken seriously. A criminal record can have a major effect on a person’s future. Our attorneys at Moses and Rooth understand how important it is to take your future into account when preparing their legal defense. Please do not hesitate to contact our office to schedule your free consultation by calling 407-377-0150.