A theft accusation can carry severe immediate and future implications. Hefty fines, jail time, and prison sentences can become harsh realities. With these penalties also come serious secondary implications. Imagine, a theft accusation or sentencing can hinder your future career opportunities…
Don’t worry yet!
A theft accusation does not have to result in damaging consequences. Bryan Coulter—a criminal defense attorney in Lafayette, Indiana—has years of experience with criminal law. Read more below to see how a criminal defense attorney can help you.
What is Theft?
Theft and burglary are often used interchangeably, yet they are completely separate entities. Theft is commonly defined in Indiana as “knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another with intent to deprive the other person of any part of the use or value of the property.” Theft is different from burglary, because burglary involves the entrance into a home or business with the intention to commit a crime there.
Examples of theft include:
- Petty Theft: This type of theft usually involves the stealing of property valued less than $500.
- Grand Theft: This kind of theft usually involves the taking of property valued at more than $750.
- Grand Theft Auto: This theft involves stealing a vehicle with the intention to keep it, disassemble the car for money, or sell the car to another person.
*In Indiana, items stolen that are valued at less than $750 dollars are considered petty theft.
Theft is a wide category that includes countless other scenarios. The crimes listed above are only a few examples of what constitutes theft…
What are the Consequences of Being Charged with Theft in Indiana?
If you are found guilty of theft, you can face several different punishments contingent on the type of theft you committed. Listed below are a variety of penalties you could face.
- Infractions: An infraction can be given to someone if the value of the property stolen was less than $50. The punishment for an infraction includes up to a $250 fine.
- Class A Misdemeanor: A class A misdemeanor is generally given if the property stolen was valued at less than $750. A Class A misdemeanor can be punishable with up to 1 year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
- Level 6 Felony: A level 6 felony is given to a person who steals property priced between $750 and $50,000. A level 6 felony can also be given if the item stolen was a firearm, or if the perpetrator had a previous, unrelated conviction. Punishments can include a sentencing of 6 months to 2.5 years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine.
- Level 5 Felony: A level 5 felony is given to a person who steals property valued above $50,000 or if the property stolen was from a healthcare provider, a public utility, or if the lack of the stolen item can cause bodily harm to another person. This felony can also be given if a stolen item puts public or transportation safety at risk. Punishments can include a sentence of 1 to 6 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
With large fines and substantial jail time at risk, an experienced criminal defense attorney in Lafayette, Indiana should be used.
How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help You with Your Theft Accusation?
If accused of theft, a criminal defense attorney can help you build a strong strategy for your case.
Let a defense attorney help you by…
- Clearly explaining your charges and the punishments involved
- Designing a strong platform to help fight your charges
- Ensuring a fair, speedy trial
- Protecting you from the harshest fines or jail sentences
- Mitigating your jail time, or fine amount
When fighting a theft charge, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to help navigate the often confusing courtroom and trial process.
At Coulter Law, aggressive courtroom representation and nearly a decade of experience allow us to actively assist you and your case. With such heavy repercussions on the line, both present and future, it is important to arm yourself with a criminal defense attorney in Lafayette, Indiana. See how we can best represent you!