The high cost of stealing from elderly individuals

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2024 | Felonies

The term ‘elderly’ often refers to individuals aged 65 and older. Many people in this age group begin to experience memory-affecting diseases, which can unfortunately make them easy targets for exploitation, such as theft.

If you exploit this vulnerability—or if you know someone who does—it’s essential to remember that stealing is a crime. In Florida, theft from individuals aged 65 and older can lead to severe consequences, making it crucial to avoid such actions and protect yourself from allegations.

Stealing in any form is punishable

Theft from older adults can take many forms.

In care facilities, it may involve directly taking money or valuable items from a resident’s room, or manipulating them into parting with their possessions or money. Other forms of theft may include identity theft or financial scams that deceive the older person into providing sensitive information or relinquishing their savings.

However, theft is not confined to care facilities. Florida law punishes any act of stealing from older people, no matter where it occurs.

Consequences of elderly theft

Under Florida law, if facing a conviction of stealing more than $1,000 from a person aged 65 or older,

you can face severe penalties. The court may order you to make restitution to the victim and perform up to 500 hours of community service. These penalties are in addition to any fines or sentences the court may impose for the theft. This implies that you could face jail time or fines, and still need to make restitution and complete community service hours.

The law also categorizes theft offenses based on the value of the stolen property:

  • First-degree felony: If the stolen property is worth $50,000 or more.
  • Second-degree felony: If the value is between $10,000 and $50,000
  • Third-degree felony: If the value is between $300 and $10,000

Each degree of felony comes with its own set of punishments, which may include imprisonment and fines.

Seeking legal help

Remember, these penalties are not theoretical. Courts can and do impose them, which can significantly impact your life and future. If you’re facing allegations of stealing from an older person, seeking help from a legal professional can be beneficial. A legal professional can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation.


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