If you choose to commit a theft crime, it is extremely likely that your sentence will be many years long. The severity of the nature of the theft will have a huge impact on your sentence as well as what defense can be used for you.
In most states, the severity of the crime is determined by the value of the stolen property. This can be a deceiving statistic, as some major theft crimes are committed for pretty low-valued items. The item’s age can also affect the severity of the charge. A vehicle, even if it is older, will carry a much more severe sentence than an iPod or computer monitor that is still new.
A theft crime can also be committed in many different ways. Each way carries its own sentence as well as a possible defense against the charges brought against you by the state attorney’s office or District Attorney’s Office.
Many theft crimes are possible due to a property owner’s negligence. For example, a homeowner may leave a garage door open, and a thief may walk in and grab an expensive car. Another example of this is when there is an unlocked door. A thief may easily break into a house after observing the homeowners’ failure to secure the door properly.
What Is the Legal Definition of Theft?
Theft is a crime that involves taking someone else’s property. Theft is a serious criminal offense. In most cases, the victims of theft are the ones to report it to authorities and press charges against the thief, who will be tried in court. The law that covers theft crimes varies from state to state, but there are certain elements that are present in all of them. A theft crime is considered a felony in most states.
What Are Some Examples of Theft Crimes?
Some examples of theft crimes include shoplifting, robbery, and burglary. Shoplifting is not considered theft because the owner (or store) still has possession of the object that was stolen. The same is true if you return the object to the owner.
However, there are consequences for those who commit shoplifting crimes, like in California, where store clerks have to shoot to kill if they feel threatened by a shoplifter trying to run away with an item in his or her hand. Other theft crimes that may be committed include burglary, larceny, robbery, and theft.
How Does the Law Define Property?
Theft crimes can involve objects as well as currency. In some states, theft crimes include only property valued at a certain amount, while in other states, theft crimes are defined as all property that is put into the public domain.
Either way, theft laws vary from state to state, and the definitions of property can be a complicated issue for many people. For example, some states have laws that say property includes pets. In other states, pets are considered someone’s personal possession, and only their owners can file charges against a thief who steals their pet.
What Are the Penalties for Theft?
The penalties for theft crimes vary from state to state. The nature of the crime and the value of the property being stolen is what determine what penalties will be imposed for theft charges. There are also a number of issues that can affect your sentence if you are charged with a theft crime.
These factors may include whether you have prior convictions on your record and whether you were in possession of a firearm when committing the crime. The number of previous convictions may also play a role in sentencing. A person who has two or more prior convictions for theft crimes may be subject to the harshest penalties.
For example, a sentence of three to five years in prison is common if a person has two to three previous offenses. Another example of theft sentencing is if you commit theft and use force when committing the crime. Your sentence will be even harsher if you use force against the property owner or someone else who is present on the property at the time of your crime.
Can Sentences for Theft Crimes Be Increased or Decreased?
A sentence for a theft crime can be reduced by pleading guilty to the crime or through a number of other methods. For example, if you make restitution for the theft, your sentence may be reduced or waived altogether.
Another form of mitigation is completing an educational program about theft crimes before sentencing. You will also have a chance to have your sentence reduced if you enter into a pretrial intervention program that is offered by most states. You can also ask the court to consider a sentence that is lower than the minimum sentence allowed for your type of theft crime.
You could have a defense against the charges against you, but this is not always true and depends on your situation. For example, you may have taken something from someone who was unconscious at the time or did not take anything because you thought it was abandoned. However, evidence that there was an agreement with an individual before taking property that belongs to them will not be considered a valid defense against theft crimes.
In conclusion, theft crimes are crimes that define property in a very specific way. Theft crimes will carry harsh penalties if you are convicted of one. The severity of the sentence will depend on the value of the property stolen and whether or not force was used to commit the theft crime. You can get help by contacting an experienced theft attorney if you have been charged with a theft crime.