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What Are Theft Charges?
Theft charges involve the unlawful and unauthorized taking of another person’s property. There are many different types of theft crimes, including:
- Larceny (common theft)
- Robbery (theft accomplished through force or the threat of force)
- Burglary (breaking and entering + theft)
- Embezzlement and other white collar crimes
There are many elements required to prove each different type of theft charge. For instance, larceny occurs through the "unlawful taking and carrying away of the personal property of another, with the intention of permanently depriving them of the use of the property." Each of these requirements needs to be fulfilled in order to find the suspect guilty.
What Are Some Legal Penalties for Theft Charges?
This depends on the type of crime. Many smaller theft charges are misdemeanors, meaning they are punishable by less than one year in a local jail. These include common theft, shoplifting, and other types of theft.
More serious theft crimes such as armed robbery and burglary will result in felony charges. These are associated with stricter punishments, such as a term in a prison facility of greater than one year. Both felonies and misdemeanors may also require a payment of criminal fines, with felonies resulting in much higher fine payments.
What Are Grand Theft Charges?
Grand theft occurs when the property stolen is above a certain amount, usually in the thousands of dollars. Grand theft is usually a felony charge, which will result in the types of penalties mentioned above. Even if it is accomplished without the use of a weapon, grand theft results in serious consequences. Also, the defendant may be required to pay criminal restitution to reimburse the victim for the amounts that they stole.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with Theft Charges?
Theft charges can involve some very complex aspects of criminal laws. They can also be prosecuted differently depending on state laws. You may wish to hire a lawyer for help with theft charges. Your criminal defense attorney can provide you with representation during court to ensure that your rights as a criminal defendant are being upheld.
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Last Modified: 02-18-2015 09:30 AM PST
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