Employee Theft Defined

Employee theft in Florida is when an employee unlawfully takes money or property from an employer with the intent to permanently deprive the employer of ownership.  The Florida Statute doesn’t have a specific crime for employee theft. However, the offense will typically be charged as a misdemeanor Petit theft or a felony grand theft depending on the value of the property taken from the employer. 

Have you been charged with employee theft in Central Florida? You may face an uphill legal battle. Judges tend to take employee theft charges more seriously than shoplifting charges that involve the same amount of stolen goods. Why? Because employees are trusted members of the business. When an employee theft occurs, many judges believe that trust between employee/employer was violated.


Petit theft is defined as any theft where the value of the items is $750 or less.  A Petit theft can be classified under two different degrees depending on the value of the items alleged to have been taken.  Petit Theft can be a First-degree Misdemeanor or a Second Degree Misdemeanor.  Typically, if theft is over $750, the employee theft will be charged as a Grand Theft.  A grand theft is typically categorized into three different degrees – third degree, second degree and first degree.  The degree charged will depend on the value of the property taken in the employee theft.

If you face employee theft charges in Florida, contact the Orlando, Florida, criminal defense law firm of Moses and Rooth Attorneys at Law. A conviction following theft charges can result in fines, incarceration, driver’s license suspension and numerous other legal sanctions. While most first-time offenders may qualify for pretrial diversion, an employee theft will typically be disqualified. Additionally, the prosecution will often be seeking restitution for the recovery of the property or value of the property related to the employee theft.

Defending Employee Theft

As experienced criminal defense lawyers and former prosecutors, we are skilled both at investigating employee theft claims and at protecting clients’ rights. We can:

  • Question search and seizure laws. Were you stopped and searched by law enforcement officials? We can investigate whether police had reason or “cause” to stop you and whether they legally followed procedures during their search.
  • Analyze surveillance videos to determine if footage is consistent with employee and police reports.
  • Provide full and aggressive advocacy in hearings, negotiations, and trial.

Some of the defenses that we will explore in preparation for an employee theft offense will include:

  1.  Property value – The state attorney must prove that the property had value and that the value was over the threshold required in the level of Grand theft. 
  2.  Co-ownership – someone who is the co-owner of property such as marital property may not be convicted of theft. 
  3.  Abandonment – Someone who abandons and voluntarily relinquishes their attempt to take property of another

Get Help from an Experienced Orlando Employee Theft Defense Attorney

Employee theft charges are usually disqualified from diversionary programs (programs that allow for a clear record following the fulfillment of certain conditions), so it’s especially important that you obtain effective legal help. We have handled numerous theft charges both as prosecutors and as criminal defense lawyers. For a no-charge consultation with an experienced employee theft offense attorney, contact us at (407) 377-0150.

Employee Theft Resources

Florida Statute 812.014(2)(e) – Petit theft defined value

Florida Statute 812.014 – Theft Statute

Florida Statute 812.014(5)(b) – Driver’s License Suspension for Theft Conviction 

Florida Statute 772.11(1) – Civil Liability for Theft Offense

Course for Theft Online – Virtual Anti-Theft Class / Impulse Control Class

In Person Class at the Florida Safety Council

Florida Statute 777.04(5) – Abandonment