Types of Theft
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What Are Some Different Types of Theft?
Basic theft or larceny is generally defined as the unlawful taking away and transporting of a the personal property of another person, without their consent, in order to permanently deprive them of the item. There are many other different types of theft crimes, each with additional factors involved with them. Some of these thefts and theft categories include:
- Petty theft (theft of property that is worth a minimal amount of money)
- Robbery (theft through the use or threat of force)
- Theft by bringing stolen property across state lines
- Theft by deception
- Receipt of stolen property
- Theft of services
- Newer forms of electronic theft, such as identity theft
- Theft of lost or mislaid property
- Theft by conversion
- Intellectual property theft
Each state has its own set of statutes and codes that set forth the laws on theft for that jurisdiction. These will vary by state, and may also vary in application according to the personal history of the defendant.
Why Is It Necessary to Specify the Type of Theft?
It is necessary to specify what type of theft crime is involved due to a few factors, especially when it comes to sentencing for theft crimes. Generally speaking, minor theft is punished less severely, while more serious or widespread theft crimes are punished more strictly. Also, some theft crimes that involve weapons or physical threats of harm may sometimes be classified as violent crimes.
What Are Some Common Legal Penalties for Theft?
Penalties and sentencing for theft will depend on the type of theft crime involved. Less serious theft crimes, such as shoplifting or gas siphoning, often result in a citation or a misdemeanor charge. These may result in small criminal fines and some short jail time.
More serious crimes like embezzlement or robbery may result in felony charges, which can lead to sentences of greater than one year in a federal prison facility (plus more criminal fines).
Also, many theft penalties are calculated based on the value of the property that was stolen. For instance, grand theft is often defined according to the dollar amount that was stolen (usually anywhere from $500-$1000 and above may result in grand theft charges). Grand theft is also typically categorized as a felony or a serious misdemeanor.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with Theft Charges?
As you can see, theft crimes can range from very minor to very serious charges. You may wish to hire a qualified criminal law attorney in your area if you need help with theft defenses. Your attorney can represent you during trial and provide you with legal advice on your case. Also, your lawyer may be able to determine whether there are any alternative sentencing options available or if you can possibly have the charges dropped or reduced.
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Last Modified: 12-08-2016 04:26 PM PST
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