Common Theft Charges in Maryland
Theft can be a lot of things but one thing it usually involves is willful use, concealment, or abandonment of the property of another without the owner’s consent. That means you took something, you used it, or you concealed it. It was not yours but it managed to find its way into your hands. In Maryland, the one thing that is very important to understand is that whether you took the property or you received the property, you can be charged with theft.
People will say that they didn’t know the property was stolen, but they had it on them, so the state can still go after them. The state can really come after you in many different ways, but if you received stolen property that is not yours and you did not take it, they will look at how you got it. That information could lead to the conviction of another, and you might think that will save you but it won’t.
In Maryland, theft is defined by the value of the goods that were allegedly taken. Theft can range from a misdemeanor all the way up to a felony.
Theft Charges in Maryland
The first category of theft is for property worth under $100. That is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of three months in jail. The second category would then be theft of property worth anywhere from $100-$1,000. That is also still a misdemeanor but the maximum penalty is increased to 18 months. From there, you have theft of property that is worth over $1,000 and that is when you get into felony counts. Anything that is worth $1,000 and over is considered a felony. If the value of the property is over $100,000 then the felony carries a 25-year maximum sentence. If it is worth under $100,000 but more than $10,000, the maximum penalty is 15 years. If it is between $1,000 and $10,000, the maximum is 10 years. One of the things that I do see quite frequently within the theft category is vehicle theft, which is a felony.
It is based on the value of the property. It is all about the value. Taking vehicles out of it, it is always about the value. They look at what you took and how much it is worth.
The number one situation that leads to theft charges is shoplifting. It is almost always about shoplifting.
Common Misconceptions about Theft in Maryland
A common misconception is that people think that if they give a person or a store the money for whatever they took, that the charges will go away, but that is not what’s going to happen.