Rockville Theft Lawyer
As long as the concept of ownership has existed, people have been accusing others of taking their property. Sometimes allegations are warranted while in many other situations they are not. Regardless of the circumstances, theft is a serious offense that could impact the rest of your life.
Having a conviction for theft on the record can make it difficult for others to trust you for years to come, harming your career opportunities even after you have fulfilled your sentence. It is therefore wise to work with an experienced Rockville theft lawyer who could help defend you against these charges and work toward a positive outcome. A criminal defense lawyer could be a knowledgeable ally able to take advantage of the best opportunities throughout the process to help defend your rights.
Overview of Theft Laws
Theft crimes in Rockville may be prosecuted under state or federal law, but state law is the most common. The criminal code now combines many former offenses such as larceny, larceny by trick, embezzlement, shoplifting, and receiving stolen property into one broadly defined crime described as theft.
The penalties for theft crimes are generally based on the value of the property in question. In most every situation, an individual must act either with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of the property or must leave the property in a place that is likely to deprive the owner of the use of the property. A dedicated local theft attorney may be able to fight the charges leveled against a defendant by showing that they with another motive, such as moving property to protect it from a harmful situation.
Different Ways to Commit Theft
Md. Code, Crim. Law §7-104 describes five different ways an individual may commit theft. These include:
- Willfully obtaining or exerting control over property
- Using deception to obtain control over property
- Knowingly possessing stolen property
- Obtaining control over property knowing it has been lost or delivered by mistake
- Obtaining compensable services by deception or without consent
Each of these types of theft situations includes certain elements. Prosecutors must prove applicable elements before a court may convict someone of the offense.
To be guilty of theft by deception, an individual must act willfully or knowingly, use deceptive practices, obtain control over property, and intend to deprive the owner or use, conceal, or abandon the property in a way that is likely to, or does, deprive the owner of the property. A theft lawyer in the community could seek evidence to refute one or more asserted elements.
Range of Penalties for Theft
The theft of property valued at $1,500 or more is treated as a felony in Rockville. The value of stolen goods is determined by the market value of the property or services taken. If there is no way to determine the market value, then the cost of replacement of the property is used to set the value.
Even the theft of property worth less than $100 could lead to imprisonment for up to 90 days and a $500 fine. At the other end of the spectrum, if a theft involves property worth $100,000 or more, a convicted defendant would face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. All those convicted of theft may also be required to restore the property taken or pay the value of that property to the owner.
Contact a Rockville Theft Attorney Right Away
Even a minor theft crime conviction can have major implications for your life. If you are facing theft charges, you need to be sure that you understand the nature of the offense and the potential ramifications.
A dedicated Rockville theft lawyer could help protect your rights and fight to minimize any negative consequences from the situation. To learn more about your defense options, call today.