Glen Burnie Theft Lawyer
In Maryland, “theft” is a broad term that can be applied to various unlawful acts, not all of which necessarily involve taking physical property from someone. Regardless of how your theft charge came about, understanding and proactively enforcing your legal rights under these circumstances are vital to protecting your long-term prospects and interests.
Guidance from a Glen Burnie theft lawyer could be critical not just to building a solid defense strategy, but to executing that strategy effectively both inside and outside of court. From initial investigations to the final verdict and possible sentencing, a seasoned defense attorney’s advocacy could make the difference between a positive resolution to your case and one which sees you facing life-altering criminal sanctions.
Defining and Defending Against Theft Charges in Glen Burnie
According to Maryland Code, Criminal Law §7-104, the criminal offense of “theft” occurs when someone takes property belonging to someone else through deceit and/or without authorization. This happens either with the intent to deprive the owner of that property’s use or with the knowledge that their actions in using, abandoning, or hiding the property will deprive the owner of its benefits. State law also defines various related actions as alternate forms of theft—for instance, knowingly possessing stolen property, or getting paid services without paying for them either through deceit or consciously without the provider’s consent.
Notably, though, MD Code, Crim. Law §7-110 outlines some specific affirmative defenses to theft charges, stating that someone cannot be convicted of theft if any of the following circumstances are true:
- The defendant had a good-faith claim of right over the property in question which they were acting upon
- The defendant honestly believed they had a lawful right to possess or control the property in question
- The property in question belonged to the defendant’s spouse, and the defendant was living with the owner as a married couple in the same residence
- The offense involved the alleged theft of a trade secret, and the defendant either rightfully knew the trade secret or had it made available to them by a source other than the trade secret’s owner
A Glen Burnie theft attorney could explain how state law addresses this particular type of offense in more detail during a private consultation.
Possible Penalties for a Theft Conviction
The sanctions a defendant may face upon conviction of theft depend primarily on the value of goods and/or services allegedly taken, and in some cases, on the defendant’s history of similar convictions. Generally, theft of less than $1,500 is considered a misdemeanor, whereas theft of more than $1,500 is a felony punishable by increasingly severe sanctions for increasingly valuable goods or services. A maximum of 20 years imprisonment and $25,000 in fines for theft of $100,000 or more is possible.
Notably, repeat offenders convicted of misdemeanor theft are subject to having their maximum possible term of incarceration extended from six months to a year. Furthermore, as a theft lawyer in Glen Burnie could affirm, anyone with four or more prior misdemeanor theft convictions may be subject to a maximum five-year prison term and a $5,000 fine for any subsequent misdemeanor theft conviction.
Talk to a Glen Burnie Theft Attorney About Your Legal Options
Theft charges can dramatically change your life’s course whether you have a history of similar convictions or not. In both situations, guidance from seasoned legal counsel could be vital to minimizing criminal consequences in the short term and mitigating the impact this allegation may have on your personal and professional life.
A qualified Glen Burnie theft lawyer could provide the representation you may need to proactively pursue a positive case result. Schedule a meeting by calling today.