Under current Florida laws, anyone who steals between $300 and $20,000 is subject to a $5,000 fine and up to five years in jail. But a new proposal which was passed by the Florida Senate last Friday would change the penalties for shoplifting items valued between $100 and $600. Rather than facing charges of felony grand theft, the person would receive a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.
Florida’s theft laws have not changed since 1986, and one lawmaker explained that a $300 camera back then would now cost around $600 due to inflation. The new law also could mean 76 fewer people sentenced to prison next year for shoplifting, which would save the state over $700,000.
As the law stands now, persons who commit petit theft or shoplifting and have previously been convicted of theft at least twice gets charged with a felony of the third degree. If the property stolen is valued between $20,000 and $100,000, then the act is considered a second degree felony. A first degree felony charge when the property is valued over $100,000.
Palm Beach DUI Lawyer, Douglas I. Leifert has learned that the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting enhanced DUI enforcement starting at 6:00 tonight.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is intending to increase their presence for DUI detection in unincorporated areas of Palm Beach County. The effort is expected to last until 4:00 a.m. on April 25, 2009.
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office plans DUI patrol tonight, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, April 24, 2009.
When a Pensacola college student rear-ended another driver, it crushed the front of his own car. Then he got billed $714 by the county police and firefighters who responded to the car accident. The fee has been called a “crash tax,” and on Monday a Florida Senate committee voted unanimously to approve a proposed ban on so-called crash taxes. Six other states have already banned them, since they are not always covered by auto insurance and many consider them unfair.
However, many municipalities say they are a necessary fee to cover the time that police and firefighters take away from other duties. They say that declining property taxes and smaller budgets make the fee a necessity.
In Escambia County, Florida drivers are assessed a fee regardless of whether they are a resident. Officials decide who is at fault and charge that person $10 for every minutes of a firefighter’s time and an additional $600 for a fire engine. The county waives the fees if a resident’s car insurance doesn’t cover it. The county has collected $19,000 since the fee began in 2007.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement released its 2008 crime statistics on Friday. The report showed that overall the Florida crime rate decreased approximately 2.8 % from 2007 to 2008. Violent crime dropped statewide, while larcenies and burglaries rose.
In Broward County, overall crime increased by less than 4%, although the population of the county dropped at the same time. In particular, Broward saw increases in the number of rapes, larcenies, and burglaries.
In Palm Beach County, the crime rate dropped in every category but murder. According to the report, the number of murders remained at 96. Overall, Palm Beach Country’s crime rate dropped by nearly 4%.
Crime up in Broward, down in Palm Beach County, FDLE says, South Florida Sun Sentinel, April 16, 2009 (more…)
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