If you are charged with theft, you need to sit down and talk to an attorney about your defense. Doing so will help you to see just where you stand legally-now and in the future. A theft or fraud conviction can have a lasting impact on your criminal record, as employers, especially, may view you as untrustworthy. That is why you need to rely on a legal professional’s help when dealing with any charge that concerns theft or fraud.
Assessing Criminal Penalties
A criminal defense lawyer in Shelby County, OH will plan a defense, depending on the severity of the charge. The severity of the charge will determine whether the theft is considered a misdemeanor or a felony. The definition of theft points to an act where a person uses specific means to deprive an owner of their services or property. This may be done by deception, threats, intimidation, or without consent-expressed or implied.
When you speak to a criminal defense lawyer, you will also find out that the charges brought against you will also depend on the value of the stolen items. For example, if you are convicted of petty theft, the charges will not be as harsh as a theft where you stole $5,000 or more in merchandise. Anyone convicted of petty theft, such as shoplifting, is usually sentenced up to 180 days in jail or sentenced to community control (probation).
The Definition of a Petty Theft
Merchandise or services took that are valued $1,000 or less normally fall under the classification of petty theft. A criminal defense lawyer will inform you about the assessed punishments and fines for taking items at certain values. For instance, if you take items valued over $1,000 but less than $7,000, the charge for this crime is a fifth-degree penalty, which is punishable by up to one year in jail.
Contact a Knowledgeable Lawyer Now
Have you recently been charged with theft or is a loved one in jail for this crime? If so, schedule an appointment with a knowledgeable criminal defense legal professional. Find out what defense strategies can be used that will lead to a better outcome.