Maryland Theft Lawyer
When you are charged with theft, everything in your life can seem like a blur. You are immediately thrust into the legal system, encountering administrative procedures and language you don’t understand. But there is one thing you do know: you have been charged with a serious crime. And you could face severe criminal penalties without a defense attorney by your side. The consequences for this type of charge can make a huge impact on your life, and even affect your relationships with friends and family members. If you have more detailed or fact-specific questions about theft, you should consult a Maryland theft lawyer.
Theft in Maryland
What does the law mean by a “theft charge?” Shoplifting, for instance, is one type of charge in this area. However, there are charges for a variety of different acts. Even finding something – but making no effort to return it to the owner – can be considered a criminal violation in Maryland. And some charges are more serious than others. A lawyer in Maryland can help explain the theft charges you face and what it means for you and your case.
In our state, the severity of the charge depends upon the value of the stolen item. Shoplifting a bottle of perfume (usually valued at less than $100) is considered less serious than taking a diamond ring (whose worth may be more than $1,000). The severity of the penalty sought by the state also increases if you steal from your employer.
The following are possible penalties for theft in Maryland:
- For an item or service valued at less than $100: up to 90 days in jail
- For an item or service valued at less than $1,000: up to 18 months in jail
- For an item or service valued between $1,000 and $10,000: up to 10 years in prison
- For an item or service valued between $10,000 and $100,000: up to 15 years in prison
- For an item or service valued over $100,000: up to 25 years in prison
Theft Accusations and Investigations
You may not be threatened with these penalties right away if you are accused of theft. The first time you’re approached regarding the matter will likely be by a store’s loss prevention agent. Keep in mind that they can use anything you say to them as evidence. This is also true of statements you give to police after an arrest. It’s important to note that even though police may seem kindly, they’re still searching for evidence. If you are under investigation for theft, contact a skilled lawyer as soon possible while remaining silent regarding the charges.
It’s hard to say what the outcome of this type of accusation will be. Many differences between cases affect both the process and outcome of your situation. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your case, an attorney can be an asset.
Maryland Theft Laws
For more information about theft laws in the state of Maryland, you can visit section Section 7–104 of the State’s criminal code. There you will be able to read the laws that the state has on the books concerning theft. But they can still be difficult to understand without prior experience in law or a basic understanding of the language used. That is why a qualified and knowledgeable attorney is so essential in theft cases. They can help you understand the charges you face when it might seem confusing.
Seeking Legal Representation
You may still be unsure about retaining legal counsel at this time. If so, just speaking to Maryland theft lawyer Seth Okin can help put your mind at ease. In a worst-case scenario, it might even help prevent the loss of your freedom. Our firm offers a free initial consultation, so if you are still on the fence about whether or not you need to retain an attorney, we can answer any questions you might have and help you decide on the best possible course of action moving forward. Even if you do not ultimately hire an attorney, the knowledge you gain during this free meeting will be invaluable as you work towards obtaining a positive result in your case.