Florida’s theft statute encompasses larceny, embezzlement, and false pretenses. In Florida, a theft is committed if a person:
ii) Obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or use;
iii) Another’s property;
iv) With the intent to either temporarily or permanently deprive the other person of the right to or benefit from the property or appropriate the property to his own use or the use of any person not entitled to use of the property.
Florida classifies theft into degrees based upon the value of the property.
Grand theft in the first degree
Includes: property valued at $100,000 or more, stolen cargo that has entered the stream of commerce valued at $50,000 or more, damaging another’s real property with a motor vehicle that is used as an instrumentality in commission of the offense (other than as a getaway vehicle), and damage to the real or personal property of another exceeding $1,000 during the commission of the crime;
Grand theft in the second degree
includes: property valued at $20,000 or more, but less than $100,000, stolen cargo that has entered the stream of commerce valued at less than $50,000, emergency medical equipment valued at $300 or more, and stolen law enforcement equipment;
Grand theft in the third degree
includes: property valued at $300 or more, but less than $20,000, stolen testamentary instruments, firearms, vehicles, commercially farmed animals, fire extinguishers, stop signs, and fruit in excess of 2,000 individual pieces, and property valued at $100 or more, but less than $300, that is stolen from a dwelling;
Petit theft in the first degree
includes: property valued at $100 or more, but less than $300;
Petit theft int the second degree
includes theft of property not specified by statute as grand theft or petit theft in the first degree.
defined as the market value of the property at the time and place of the offense or, if the market value cannot be satisfactorily ascertained, the cost of replacement of the property within a reasonable time after the offense.
Essential element that must be proven for charges of grand theft and petit theft in the first degree
No ascertainable value
If the actual value cannot be ascertained, the jury is permitted to find that the value is not less than a certain amount or, if no such minimum value can be ascertained, that the value is an amount less than $100.
In Florida, robbery is:
i) The taking of money or property;
ii) From the person or custody of another;
iii) With the intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or owner of the money or property;
iv) When in the course of the taking there is the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear.
Violent act in the course of taking
A violent act is deemed “in the course of the taking” if it occurs before, after, or at the time the property is taken and if the violent act and the taking constitute a continuous series of acts.
Robbery with a weapon
If the defendant carried or possessed a firearm, deadly weapon, or other weapon, the robbery is a felony in the first degree. Otherwise, robbery is a felony in the second degree.
Carjacking is defined as:
i) The taking of a motor vehicle from the person or custody of another;
ii) With the intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or the owner of the motor vehicle;
iii) When in the course of taking there is the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear.
Regardless of whether a weapon is used, carjacking is a felony of the first degree.
Home-invasion robbery is defined as a robbery that occurs when the offender enters a dwelling with the intent to commit a robbery and does commit a robbery of the occupants. Fla. Stat. § 812.135.
Regardless of whether a weapon is used home-invasion robbery is a felony of the first degree.
In Florida, a dwelling may be abandoned or under construction and need not be occupied at the time of the entering so long as it is still suitable for lodging.
A dwelling is any temporary or permanent structure, and its surrounding curtilage, which has a roof and is designed for individuals to lodge at night. A dwelling may be either mobile or immobile. Fla. Stat. § 810.011.
Burglary in Florida does not require a breaking. A burglary may be committed at any time during the day or night, and there is no requirement of intent to commit a felony.
In Florida, burglary is defined as:
i) Entering a dwelling, structure (a building of any kind, either temporary or permanent, that has a roof over it, and the enclosed space of ground and outbuildings immediately surrounding that structure), or conveyance (motor vehicle, ship, vessel, railroad car, trailer, aircraft, or sleeping car), with the intent to commit an offense therein, unless the premises are open to the public at the time or the defendant is licensed or invited to enter; or
ii) Notwithstanding a licensed or invited entry, remaining in a dwelling, structure, or conveyance: (a)surreptitiously, with the intent to commit an offense therein, (b) after permission to remain has been withdrawn, with the intent to commit an offense therein, or (c) to commit an enumerated forcible felony
To prove the crime of arson, Florida requires that a person willfully and unlawfully, or during the commission of a felony (not maliciously), burn a dwelling or structure where persons are normally present.
Immunity from prosecution for Drug related overdose and medical assistance
In Florida, a person who experiences a drug-related overdose and is in need of medical assistance may not be charged, prosecuted, or penalized for possession of a controlled substance if the evidence for possession of a controlled substance was obtained as a result of the overdose and the need for medical assistance. In addition, a person acting in good faith who seeks medical assistance for an individual experiencing a drug-related overdose may not be charged, prosecuted, or penalized for possession of a controlled substance.
Stolen credit or debit cards
In Florida, it is a crime to knowingly possess, receive, or retain custody of a stolen credit or debit card with the intent to impede the recovery of such card. However, a retailer or retail employee may possess such card if the retailer or employee does not know that the card was stolen.
Computer crimes consist of willful and knowing introduction of contaminants into computers (viruses) or unauthorized access into any computer (hacking).
Although Florida has a broad definition of a “dwelling,” it has a more narrow definition of “curtilage” with respect to burglary. In order for the area surrounding a residence to be considered part of the “curtilage” under the burglary statute, it must be surrounded by some form of an enclosure. State v. Hamilton, 660 So. 2d 1038 (Fla. 1995) (holding that a yard surrounded by trees was not “curtilage”).
Consent and Burglary
Consent is an affirmative defense to burglary and circumstantial evidence is permitted to prove lack of consent. Fla. Stat. § 810.015.
Intent to commit an offense therein
Proof of entering a structure or conveyance stealthily and without the owner or occupant’s consent is prima facie evidence of entering with intent to commit an offense. Fla. Stat. § 810.07.