Charles County Theft Lawyer

Theft involves purposely taking control over property belonging to others without their consent. This offense could be treated as a misdemeanor or felony based on the value of the property. The ramifications of a conviction for theft could be severe, but a Charles County theft lawyer may be able to assist you in avoiding or minimizing these consequences.

When you are facing criminal charges, you need an aggressive advocate who could fight for and protect your rights. Criminal proceedings are stressful and uncertain, so getting legal advice about your situation is critical to a favorable outcome in your case. Contacting a criminal defense lawyer may be the most effective way of resolving the charges in your favor.

Theft Charges in Charles County

Under Md. Code, Crim. Law § 7-104, individuals commit a theft when they intentionally and unlawfully take control over property that does not belong to them. In doing so, they knowingly deny the property owners of the benefit and use of the property. Individuals could commit theft in various ways, including:

  • Using deception to obtain property belonging to others
  • Possessing stolen property
  • Taking ownership over property that individuals know was lost, mislaid, or mistakenly delivered
  • Obtaining services by deception or without consent

Each type of theft consists of various elements that prosecutors must prove to convict individuals of theft. For instance, to commit theft by exerting control over lost, mislaid, or mistakenly delivered property, the evidence must show that the individuals knowingly committed the crime and had a reasonable means of identifying the owner of the property. Furthermore, individuals must have failed to take reasonable measures to return the property to the owner, with the intent of permanently depriving the owner of the property.

Proof of each element of a theft offense is necessary for a theft conviction. A theft lawyer in Charles County may be able to analyze the charges against individuals and decide upon the defense strategy most likely to be effective in their cases.

Misdemeanors and Penalties

Misdemeanor theft offenses generally involve property worth less than $1,500. Penalties for misdemeanor theft are further classified according to the value of the property within this range. For instance, stealing property worth less than $100 could result in a maximum of 90 days in jail and a $500 fine.

If the value of the property is more than $100, but less than $1,500, then the potential jail sentence could be as much as six months, however, the fine for this offense remains at $500.

Theft convictions have civil implications, as well. When individuals commit theft, they also must either return the intact property to the owners or could be made to pay restitution in an amount equal to the value of the property. By contacting a theft attorney in Charles County, individuals may be able to minimize the potential repercussions of theft charges.

Felony Charges and the Consequences Thereof

When theft involves property worth more than $1,500, the offense is treated as a felony. The possible penalties for a felony theft conviction include up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $25,000, such as in situations in which the stolen property is worth $100,000 or more. The harshness of the penalties depends on the value of the property that is the subject of the theft.

A felony theft conviction triggers the same civil liability as for a misdemeanor theft conviction in terms of restitution for unreturned or damaged stolen property. The collateral consequences of a felony theft conviction could also be weighty, including the loss of civil rights and challenges finding jobs and housing.

Contact a Charles County Theft Attorney for Advice

Without the assistance of a Charles County theft lawyer, you may have a much lower chance of positively resolving the charges against you. When you are facing criminal charges, you could use the skills and knowledge that legal counsel has to offer. Getting legal help may allow you to achieve greater success in your case.

A criminal conviction influences all aspects of your life for years into the future. Avoid or reduce these possible negative repercussions by obtaining legal advice from the outset of your case.