A conviction for theft could have numerous adverse consequences on someone’s freedom and right as a citizen. A theft conviction could mean long periods of confinement, considerable fines, and other significant long-lasting ramifications. A Fort Oglethorpe theft lawyer may be able to assist with your case if you have been charged with a theft offense. A criminal lawyer could advise what courses of action may be possible in particular set of circumstances and how to best proceed with lodging your defense.
One of the most common theft charges is shoplifting which is when a person takes an item without paying for it and with designs to seize the item for their personal benefit or to deny the rightful possessor of the value of the particular article. Whether or not a shoplifting offense is categorized as a felony or misdemeanor crime would depend on the worth of the item involved.
To be charged as a misdemeanor shoplifting offense, the alleged crime must involve an item with a maximum worth of $500. If the item is worth over $500 (or articles were stolen from three different establishments over a weeks’ time or less in a single county with the items having a total value of more than $500), the offense would be charged as a felony. A misdemeanor shoplifting crime carries a maximum prison term of 12 months while a felony conviction could mean up to 10 years in jail, in addition to fines.
The legal consequences levied upon the accused would vary based on whether the theft crime constitutes a felony or misdemeanor. The theft of property that is worth $500 or less would constitute a misdemeanor, while the theft of property over $500 would be charged as a felony. Misdemeanor crimes are subject to jail terms not to exceed one year and a maximum fine amount of $1,000, while felony offenses are accompanied by a period of confinement of up to ten years.
In addition to the legal punishments imposed by the judge or jury, someone convicted of theft may face additional consequences. For instance, a criminal conviction could make it difficult for someone to get a job, own a gun, or rent an apartment. A Fort Oglethorpe theft attorney could help the accused understand the range of penalties that may apply to their case.
There are a range of other theft crimes that a person could be charged with. These include theft involving deceit, theft of services, accepting stolen goods, or conveying stolen goods. When someone is charged with a misdemeanor or felony theft offense, they should not attempt to defend their case without the aid of skilled Fort Oglethorpe attorney. A lawyer understands the strategies commonly used by the prosecution to reach a conviction and would leverage all available options to try to mitigate the charges against the accused — or in some cases get them dismissed.
If you are facing theft allegations, you may need the sound legal advice and help that a Fort Oglethorpe theft lawyer could provide. It is vital to seek aggressive legal representation from the start of your case to increase your chances of achieving beneficial results.
To get your legal questions answered and learn more about what options you may have to defend yourself against these charges, call today and set up your initial attorney consultation.