Looting is always a problem after a major natural disaster, and some people suddenly think that the normal laws regarding property and ownership stop applying and that anything that’s available can simply be taken.

 

Charges

 

According to Florida state law, the punishment for a crime classified as criminal mischief depends on the extent of the damage committed. If the total amount of damage is less than $200, the offender will be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. If the total amount of damage is between $200 and $1,000, the offender will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor and sentenced to up to one full year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

 

Consequences

 

Criminal mischief can become a felony rather quickly. If the amount of damage exceeds $1,000, the offender is subject to a third-degree felony charge, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. If an offender is charged with his or her second criminal mischief charge, it may automatically be charged as a third-degree felony, despite the amount of damage committed. Looting after a natural disaster is considered to be criminal mischief, and is enforced as such.

 

Retail Theft Attorney West Palm Beach

 

If you need a team of legal professionals, David Olson Law is at your disposal. We are here to provide close attention to your case.