Thefts of goods worth less than $750 in Florida will soon no longer be classified as felonies after Governor Ron DeSantis approved a bill that brings the first change to the legal threshold in 35 years.
At $300, the current threshold for felony theft is the second-lowest in the US, meaning that stealing a cellphone could hand a person a multiyear jail sentence. Petty thefts, on the other hand, have a maximum sentence of one year. The increase is intended to make the repercussions for theft more up-to-date.
“We felt it was time to make the adjustment,” said bill sponsor Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersberg. “A year in prison is still a significant punishment for theft.”
The bill, HB 7125, now requires that the threshold be reviewed every five years. Bill sponsor Rep. Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast wrote in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times that the higher threshold will increase employment opportunities for former felons seeking employment…” Miami Herald