Most people understand that theft involves the unlawful taking of property belonging to someone else. However, there are many other ways in which theft can occur under the law in Trenton such as theft by deception or extortion. You should contact a Trenton theft lawyer right away if you have been charged with any form of theft.
Receiving professional legal assistance could mean the difference between successfully defending against theft charges or possibly facing harsh penalties such as imprisonment. An attorney could identify an appropriate legal defense to fight the charges against you, while also protecting your rights.
The crime of theft can occur in many different ways in Trenton. An offense does not always have to involve stealing property to be charged as theft. For instance, the theft of services occurs when a person avoids paying hired professionals after they provided the agreed-upon services such as car repairs or landscaping work. Common forms of theft include:
A person could be charged with other forms of theft in addition to those listed above. An attorney who handles theft cases in Trenton could explain what actions constitute each specific form of theft.
The punishment for several of the forms of theft is based on the value of the stolen property or services. For example, committing refund fraud by providing false information to a retail establishment in an attempt to obtain a cash refund or store credit for merchandise worth less than $500 is a misdemeanor that could lead to a 12-month jail sentence and up to $1,000 in fines. The offense becomes a felony when the merchandise is worth more than $500, potentially garnering a prison sentence between one and ten years.
Other forms of theft are punished differently. Theft by extortion is punishable by a prison sentence of one to ten years, regardless of the amount extorted. For stealing trade secrets, a person could be sentenced to prison for between one and five years and be fined as much as $50,000.
For certain types of theft, the penalties increase substantially for subsequent offenses. In the case of shoplifting, a fourth offense is penalized as a felony that is punishable by a ten-year prison sentence even if the stolen merchandise was worth less than $500, which is usually a misdemeanor. A lawyer who knows Trenton theft laws could explain the punishment for a specific form of theft.
Theft is a serious offense in Trenton that could result in several years imprisonment if convicted. Do not gamble with your future or your freedom by trying to represent yourself in court. A Trenton theft lawyer could provide the professional legal assistance you need to fight for a positive outcome in court. Call right away to schedule an initial consultation and get to work on building your criminal defense with a dedicated attorney.