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Aggravated Theft Laws

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What Is Aggravated Theft?

Aggravated theft is a theft crime plus additional aggravating factors such as:

  • The use of a weapon (especially deadly weapons)
  • Use of threats or intimidation
  • Theft in connection with a gang or crime syndicate
  • Thefts of property or assets amounting to very high dollar amounts in worth
  • Theft of government property or police property and similar crimes

Aggravated theft is generally considered a very serious crime. In fact, in some jurisdictions, "aggravated theft" crimes are considered the most serious theft crimes according to statute.

What Are Some Penalties for Aggravated Theft?

Aggravated theft is typically classified as a felony. Penalties for theft-related felonies generally involve a prison sentence of at least one year, along with some criminal fines. Also, aggravated theft can also lead to a loss of various legal rights, including the right to vote or the right to own a gun. This can be a temporary loss, though in some cases the loss of rights can be permanent.

Penalties may often increase as the value of the property stolen increase. This is similar to the way sentencing works for grand theft crimes.

Are There Any Defenses for Aggravated Theft?

Aggravated theft can also involve defenses that are commonly raised in other crimes. For instance, intoxication can sometimes be a defense if the intoxication altered the defendant’s mental state at the time of the crime. Also, duress can sometimes be a viable defense (i.e. the defendant was forced to commit the crime under threat of physical harm). Defense for theft can vary, and some theft defenses may not apply to aggravated theft crimes.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Assistance with Aggravated Theft Crimes?

Aggravated theft is a serious crime and can lead to strict legal penalties. It’s in your best interests to hire a qualified attorney if you need help with aggravated theft laws. Your attorney can provide you with legal assistance for your case, and can help you raise possible defenses in your favor.

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 07-13-2015 09:32 PM PDT

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