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.