Florida has recently made moves to improve and modernize its justice system. The state can go even further by revisiting what we consider a felony.
Felony charges stay with a person for life. Once that label is applied, getting an education and a job and contributing to the community become far more difficult, so it’s imperative that Florida reassess the crime when applying a felony label.
Florida’s threshold for felony theft is $300. That amount is one of the lowest in the country and out of step with the direction many states are moving. To put that amount into perspective, that’s the cost of a pair of good sneakers. Does it really make sense to alter an entire life for a mistake of this size?
S.B. 406 would raise Florida’s felony theft amount to $1,500. This is a smarter way to hold people accountable for low-level, non-violent crimes than branding someone a felon for life. Research shows that raising felony theft thresholds don’t cause overall property crime or larceny rates to rise.
Theft is an offense that should be dealt with appropriately. But the punishment should fit the crime. For those who made a mistake and want a second chance, S.B. 406 gives them more opportunities to redeem themselves without the stigma of a felony record.
By getting smarter on crime, Florida can preserve public safety and help people who have earned a second chance. Tell your lawmaker to support S.B. 406