West Palm Beach Petit Theft Criminal Defense Attorney David W. Olson
Petit theft (sometimes called petty theft) is a misdemeanor theft offense in Florida that pertains to thefts valued under $300. A misdemeanor theft conviction can potentially result in serious, long-lasting and far-reaching repercussions. A conviction for a theft offense is considered a crime of moral turpitude (dishonesty) and can potentially result in the following:
- denial or loss of professional memberships
- loss of business opportunities and advancements
- loss of personal and professional trust
- loss or denial of academic scholarship opportunities
- driver’s license suspension
- criminal record
- other – speak to Attorney Olson
If you were charged with petit theft, it is essential to retain experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel. For more than 30 years Attorney David Olson has represented thousands of clients charged with a wide variety of serious felonies and misdemeanors, including petit theft, grand theft, DUI, drug trafficking, homicide, sex offenses, computer crimes, juvenile offenses, assault, violation of probation and more. A free consultation is available by contacting our office.
Florida Petit Theft Statute
Petit theft is detailed in Florida Statute 812.014:
Theft is defined in section (1):
- A person commits theft if he or she knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use, the property of another with the intent to, either temporarily or permanently:
- (a) Deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit of the property;
- (b) Appropriate the property to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to the use of the property.
First Degree Petit Theft:
- Value of property: between $100 and less than $300.
- First degree misdemeanor
- Maximum punishment: 1 year jail, 1 year probation, maximum fine of $1,000 (any combination)
Second Degree Petit Theft:
- Value of allegedly stolen property: less than $100.
- Second degree misdemeanor
- Maximum punishment: 60 days jail, 60 days probation, maximum fine of $500 (any combination)
Previous Theft Convictions:
If the accused commits petit theft and was previously convicted of any theft offense, they will commit a first degree misdemeanor.
If the accused commits petit theft and has two or more theft convictions, they will commit a third degree felony.
The State Must Prove Intent
In order to prove the crime of petit theft, the State must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant knowingly and unlawfully obtained or used, or endeavored to obtain or use, the property alleged to be the victim’s.
- He or she did so with intent to either temporarily or permanently:
- Deprive the victim of their right to the property or any benefit from it,
- Appropriate the property of the victim to his or her own use or to the use of another not entitled to it. (Fl. Std. Jury Instructions).
Defending Against Petit Theft
Your attorney will review the facts, circumstances and evidence pertaining to your case. We remind our readers that an arrest is not a conviction. The State has the burden of proving the elements of the case beyond a reasonable doubt. There are defenses that your attorney may utilize in your case. The State has to prove that the accused knowingly and unlawfully stole or diverted the property of the alleged victim. In many cases, the accused has a legitimate property interest in the allegedly stolen property. Without intent to deprive the rightful owner of the property, theft cannot exist. Discuss your case with Attorney Olson.
West Palm Beach and South Florida Criminal Defense Attorney David W. Olson
Attorney David W. Olson has more than three decades of experience representing clients charged with serious felonies and misdemeanors. Attorney Olson has been honored by the legal community repeatedly over the years for his accomplishments, professional ability and high ethical standards:
- AV Preeminent, Martindale Hubbell – Awarded to only the Top 5% of Rated Attorneys
- “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” – National Trial Lawyers
- “Nation’s Top One Percent” – National Association of Distinguished Counsel
All Charges Dropped Thanks to Mr. Olson
“I hired David Olson to defend me in a situation that I found myself in last January of 2015. Being that it was my first time being in trouble with the law I was very nervous and afraid that this would affect me for the rest of my life. I met Mr. Olson and I was immediately put at ease. He was honest, genuine, and very easy to talk to, and after a few months the charges against me were dropped. I couldn’t have asked for a better result!! You owe it to yourself to give him a shot.”
Complimentary Case Review
If you were charged with an offense, whether petit theft, grand theft or any other offense, such as weapons violations, homicide, violation of probation, drug trafficking, DUI, DUI manslaughter, domestic battery, aggravated battery, sexual battery, all other sex offenses, or resisting arrest with or without violence, Attorney Olson offers a complimentary, no-obligation consultation to discuss your particular case. Our clients come from West Palm Beach and all throughout South Florida, including Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Spanish speaking clients are welcome. To schedule your free case review, fill out the form on our site or call 561-833-8866.
Florida Statute 812.014 (2015)
Florida Standard Jury Instructions 14.1