Tampering with or Stealing from Coin-Operated Vending Machines - Florida Statute 877.08

theft and dealing stolen property

You’ve had a hard day and you’re hungry. You go over to a snack machine and put in your last dollar and pick a snack. You hit enter, but nothing happens inside the machine. You increasing grow angry, and you wish you could smash the snack machine because it stole your money. Has this happened to you? This happens to Americans daily, but some take it a bit further and try to get their money back.

Florida Statute 877.08 makes it a crime to molest, steal from, or damage a coin operated vending machine. A vending machine is defined as “any machine, contrivance, or device that is adapted for use in such a way that, as the result of the insertion of any piece of money, coin, or other object, the machine, contrivance, parking meter, or device is caused to operate or may be operated and by reason of such operation the user may become entitled to receive any food, drink, telephone or telegraph service, insurance protection, parking privilege or any other personal property, service, protection, right or privilege of any kind or nature whatsoever.”

Examples of coin-operated vending machines:

  • Parking meters;
  • Pay-for-parking kiosks where you get a piece of paper to put on your dashboard;
  • Soda machines;
  • Snack machines;
  • Pay telephones;
  • Candy machines; or
  • Little children’s toy machines.

This statute specifically criminalizes maliciously or mischievously tampering with or damaging a vending machine or stealing from a vending machine.

Vending Machine TheftWhat the State Prosecutor Has to Prove to Convict a Defendant of This Crime

The state prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt:

(1) The defendant molested, opened, broke, injured, damaged, or inserted any part of his body or any instrument into a coin-operated vending machine or parking meter;

(2) He intended to commit larceny; and

(3) The coin-operated vending machine or parking meter was owned by another person.

Maliciously or Mischievously Tampering with or Damaging a Vending MachineWhat the State Prosecutor Has to Prove to Convict a Defendant of This Crime

The state prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt:

(1) The defendant maliciously or mischievously either:

  1. Molested, opened, broke, injured, or damaged a coin-operated vending machine or parking meter; or
  2. Inserted any part of his body or any instrument into a coin-operated vending machine or parking meter; and

(2) The coin-operated vending machine or parking meter was owned by someone else.

Defenses

One defense is that you were not trying to damage or molest the machine but you were trying to get the snack to fall down. Have you seen the screw type of machines where it rotates but not quite enough to allow the snack to fall? Sometimes people just want to assist the machine and let gravity do the rest.

This crime is a misdemeanor which means the police officer has to witness the crime being committed and cannot rely on second hand information.

Punishment

This crime is a second-degree misdemeanor which is punishable up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. A second conviction is a third-degree felony which is punishable up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Contact The Law Office of Roger P. Foley, P.A.

If you have been arrested and charged with this crime, call our law offices to schedule a free consultation. Our attorneys need to talk to you to find out your version of the events. It is important for you to tell us everything about what happened because from the information you give us, we will create a defense strategy to your case. We will seek to have your charges dropped. Not all cases result in the charges being dropped; however, we will still fight to change your charges to something less or to lessen your sentence. The sooner you call, the sooner we get to work helping you.

Click on the following reviews to see what clients are saying about us
Client Reviews
I was charged with Domestic Violence few years ago and I was referred to Roger Foley from a family member! Roger is a BULLDOG! He was great and very aggressive in helping me beat this bogus case. Case was dismissed! He was on top of everything until the end!!
Now again in need of his help and wouldn't go anywhere else!
HIGHLY RECOMMEND
★★★★★
My wife (Mother of Stepson) and I Hired Mr Foley to represent my stepson in a minor criminal case. We would highly recommend as it is obvious to us That Mr Foley Genuinely cares and wants to do the Best he can for you which he did for us. Also has a great rapport with all parties in the courtroom..... Steve
★★★★★
Roger P. Foley got me reinstated. Also he got my COS waived, an got me to still be terminated off of probation on my expected termination date. I feel very comfortable with the decision my lawyer made for me. Also i would refer him to anyone who has a criminal felony or misdemeanor case. Jamar
★★★★★
Roger is a very compassionate person, he truly cares about his clients. He helped me with my case and was there for me every step of the way even if it was just reassurance that I needed. I would recommend him to anyone, he is absolutely the best! Cassandra G.
★★★★★
I think your firm did a great t job on 3 cases that were 28 years old. The results are better than expected. I truly appreciate the hard work that you and your firm put forth in obtaining the results that we did on this case. Jim
★★★★★