Grand Theft

Property Crimes

What is Grand Theft?

Grand theft is a crime of larceny wherein the thief takes another’s property without their consent, with the intention of permanently (or in many states, temporarily) depriving the owner of the property. Grand theft refers to a level of theft that meets or exceeds property of a certain dollar amount, as proscribed by state and federal statutes.

Grand Theft v. Petty Theft

If the value of the stolen property does not meet the grand theft statutory dollar amount, the theft will fall into the category known as petty theft.

Petty theft is considered a misdemeanor in most jurisdictions

Is Grand Theft A Felony?

  • Grand theft is considered a serious theft offense and is a felony.
  • As a felony offense, a grand theft conviction will result in a greater length of incarceration and a more costly fine.

Degrees of Grand Theft:

  • Many states proscribe various levels of grand theft according to the dollar amount of the property that is stolen.
  • The penalties increase as the dollar amount of the value of the stolen property increases.

California Laws for Grand theft

  • If the value of the stolen property is $950.00 or more, the offense is grand theft.
  • California grand theft is a felony offense.
  • A theft offense in which the value of the stolen property is less than $950.00 will be prosecuted as petty theft.

California Grand Theft Auto, Auto Theft:

  • Auto theft in California may be prosecuted as a felony offense or a misdemeanor depending on the specific offense.
  • Grand theft auto requires that the thief intends to permanently steal the auto.
  • If the auto is stolen on a temporary basis – commonly known as joyriding – the offense may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor.

Florida Grand Theft Qualifications

  • Florida proscribes several levels of grand theft:
  • Grand theft in the first degree is punishable as a felony of the first degree:

$1,000 - $100,000 value, with many specific provisions;

  • Grand theft in the second degree is punishable as a felony of the second degree:
  • $300 – under $100,000, with many specific provisions;
  • Grand theft of the second degree is punishable as a felony of third degree:
  • $300 – under $5,000
  • The statute is extremely detailed and complex; this is a very brief overview.

Other Grand Theft Consequence – Driver’s License Suspension:

Many jurisdictions mandate that a defendant who is convicted of grand theft shall have their driver’s license suspended for a period of 6 months or 1 year or more.

What is a Wobbler?

A wobbler is a term that applies to an offense that may be prosecuted as a felony or as a misdemeanor.

It is up to the prosecutor whether to prosecute as a felony or misdemeanor, based on the circumstances of the offense.

What Other Items Considered Grand Theft?

In Florida and many other states, stolen property is considered grand theft if it falls into the following categories:

  • Firearms – any firearm stolen is considered a grand theft offense
  • A will, codicil, or other testamentary instrument
  • A motor vehicle
  • Commercial farm animal
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Stop sign
  • Anhydrous ammonia
  • Any amount of a controlled substance
  • Many others – ask your attorney

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