Theft Crime Lawyers in Clarksville Providing You With Legal Representation
Facing criminal charges of theft could mean possible jail time and fines, as well as a hit to your personal reputation. When you’ve been charged with theft, you need an attorney who understands these kinds of charges and knows what evidence — or lack of evidence — to look for to help you build your defense case. At Hibbeler & Associates, we work hard to ensure that no stone is left unturned as we provide the strongest defense possible for our clients.
If someone has accused you of theft or a theft-related crime, you need legal counsel. Call the law firm of Hibbeler & Associates to speak with a member of our team. You can get details about how we can help and schedule your free consultation.
What Kinds of Charges Fall Under Theft Crimes?
While many people think of theft crimes as stealing physical property — and this is true — but criminal offenses involving theft go beyond the stolen property. There are four main categories for theft crimes, discussed in more detail below.
Property theft is just what it sounds like: charges that involve the theft of physical property. This could be tangible items such as electronics or cars as well as money. These types of charges can range from misdemeanor shoplifting charges to felony grand theft. Armed robbery is also a theft charge, but it is often accompanied by other criminal charges, such as aggravated assault, which can increase the potential penalties.
Theft by Fraud
Theft charges that involve theft of any kind that was committed through fraudulent means can be found under this category. One example could be fraudulently representing yourself as a charity to collect donations.
Theft of Services
Theft of services relates to stealing work from another party. This usually comes up when a business renders services expecting payment at the end of the transaction, but the party who received the services doesn’t pay.
Receiving Stolen Property
Receiving stolen property is one theft charge that doesn’t require you to be the one who actually perpetrated the theft. In order to be charged with this, you usually have to have received the property knowing that it was stolen.
Are Theft Crimes Misdemeanors or Felonies?
A theft crime can be prosecuted as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the details of the case. Misdemeanor theft charges usually don’t involve violence and are when the value of the stolen property is less than $1,000. Felony theft charges involve some kind of weapon or threat of physical harm or have a stolen property value of more than $1,000.
What Are the Penalties for Misdemeanor Theft?
If you receive a criminal conviction for a misdemeanor theft charge or other property crimes and it is your first offense, you could receive up to 1 year of jail time and have to pay fines up to $2,500.
What Are the Penalties for Felony Theft?
A felony charge is serious, and it is something that stays on your permanent criminal record forever, which can impact your future job and other areas of your life. In addition to this, a felony theft conviction can carry a prison sentence of up to 60 years and a fine of up to $50,000 for a Class A felony.
What Are the Criminal Defense Options for Theft Crimes?
Your criminal defense strategy should be tailored to your individual case and circumstance, which is why it’s important to discuss all of your options with an attorney. However, there are a few general defense options to be aware of, including:
- Arguing for mistaken identity in which you were not the person who stole the property
- Showing that the property was rightfully yours, to begin with
- Claiming that the case is based on entrapment
- Trying to get the charges, such as a shoplifting case, dismissed
- Pleading guilty in exchange for a lower charge or lighter sentencing
Can I Be Sued If I’m Convicted?
While theft crimes information is usually focused on the criminal penalties, it’s important to note that there could also be civil penalties as well. If you are convicted of theft, there is a legal process available to the victim to sue for compensation through the civil courts. For example, if someone is convicted of stealing merchandise from a retail store, the store could sue in the civil courts for damages related to the value of the stolen property.
If you’ve been charged with a theft crime, it’s important to get your defense strategy moving quickly. Call our firm at 931-236-2711 to get started. Every new client gets a free consultation so you can meet our team and discuss your case before you make the decision to hire us.