Theft is the taking of someone else’s property without their permission and with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive that person of that property or any benefit from the property. Theft charges can range from misdemeanors to first degree felony offenses.
- The value of the item taken, the manner of the taking and prior occurrences normally dictates the severity of the charge.
The simple taking of a property valued at less than $100 is a petit theft of the second degree and will be charged as a second degree misdemeanor, while the taking of property over $100 but less than $300 is a petit theft of the first degree and a first degree misdemeanor.
Theft of property valued more than $300 is grand theft. Grand Theft is a first degree felony if the property taken is over $100,000. A person can also be charged with a first degree felony for a grand theft which involved the use of a motor vehicle which damaged real property of another or when during the commission of the theft the person causes damage in excess of $1000 to either the real or personal property of another.
Recurring theft convictions will lead to increased sanctions.
These sanctions include:
- Felony charge- A person who commits a Petit Theft and who has two or more prior theft convictions will face a Third Degree Felony as opposed to a Misdemeanor.
- Driver’s License Suspension – If you are convicted of Petit Theft your driver’s license will be suspended for a period of 6 months for the first offense and for subsequent offenses, suspension for a period of 1 year.
Besides Grand Theft, there are other theft crimes with serious consequences. Robbery, for example, carries the possibility of life imprisonment if in the course of the offense the offender carried a firearm or other deadly weapon. Other serious and commonly charged theft related are Identity Theft, Dealing in Stolen Property and crimes involving Fraud and Forgery.
Theft crimes or theft related crimes are seen as crimes of dishonesty.
A conviction for a crime of dishonesty has numerous indirect consequences which include:
- Limited employment opportunities;
- Denial of admission to universities or colleges;
- Revocation of certain professional licenses;
- Rejection or mistrust of your in-court testimony even if the conviction was for a misdemeanor charge.
A theft crime has serious consequences. Contact us today for a consultation.