A few new laws have passed that have eased the punishment on petit theft and grand theft cases. These laws were signed by the governor in 2019, and they take effect on October 1, 2019.
Under the old law, we had Section 812.0155 of the Florida Statutes is entitled “suspension of driver’s license following an adjudication of guilt for theft,” and it did exactly what the title indicates, anyone guilty of petit theft or grand theft could get their license suspended, so long as they were found guilty of the crime (in other words, a withhold of adjudication would avoid a DL suspension).
The good news is, its time for some better laws. Its time for a tad less punishment than we’ve had for, literally, decades. Let’s dig right in.
Effective October 1, 2019, the law on theft DL suspensions will change, and Section 812.0155 will now only suspend the driver’s license of someone under the age of 18 who is caught stealing. Basically, this section now gives judges a new punishment option for younger folks caught stealing, but the new law doesn’t effect a judge’s other numerous sentencing options.
Also, effective October 1, 2019, a driver’s license suspension for theft is limited to theft of gasoline at a gas pump, and these suspensions are found in 812.014(5)(b), with a suspension of up to 6 months for a first offense and up to 1 year for a subsequent offense.
It is pretty rare that I have to update my website by reducing the penalties for a crime, and this is one of those rare updates. The reduction in punishment on petit theft DL suspensions coincided with the increase of the grand theft threshold to $750 (it used to be that it only took $300 to get a grand theft).