Anne Arundel Theft Lawyer
Theft crimes in Anne Arundel County cover a wide variety of offenses, from shoplifting to fraud. Conviction for a theft crime results in serious penalties, including incarceration and large fines. It is extremely important to have an experienced Anne Arundel theft lawyer on your side who can protect your rights and work to minimize the impact of the charges you are facing. Call today to schedule a consultation and discuss your case with a criminal lawyer in Anne Arundel County.
Theft in Maryland
Maryland Criminal Code Section 7-104 explains that theft is any sort of “unauthorized control over property.” In other words, it is not legal to assert your own control over any sort of tangible or intangible good or service that rightfully belongs to another person.
This broad definition includes crimes such as:
- Theft by deception (embezzlement and fraud) (Section 7-104(b))
- Possession of stolen property (Section 7-104(c))
- Failure to return property known to be lost, misplaced, or wrongfully delivered (Section 7-104(d))
- Theft of services (Section 7-104(e))
- Robbery (Section 3-402)
Crimes such as writing bad checks, identity theft, and credit card fraud fall under the broader section defining theft by deception (Service 7-104(b)).
It is worth noting that, in a given case, there may be some question as to whether a person rightfully owns a certain item or service, or whether they were actually deprived of it at all. These are the elements of your case an Anne Arundel theft lawyer will seek to investigate with the purpose of designing a strong defense in your favor.
Penalties for Theft
The penalties for theft depend on the value of the property or services stolen and on whether the defendant has prior convictions for theft (Section 7-104(g)). No matter what the value of the goods or services taken, anyone convicted of a theft crime must compensate the rightful owner the exact value of the property in question, which means restoring it to their custody or paying for its value.
Theft of property or services valued between $1,000 and $10,000 is a felony, conviction for which can result in up to 10 years in prison and/or up to a $10,000 fine.
Theft of property or services valued between $10,000 and $100,000 is a felony, conviction for which can result in up to 15 years in prison and/or up to a $15,000 fine.
Theft of property or services valued over $100,000 is a felony, conviction for which can result in up to 25 years in prison and/or up to a $25,000 fine making it imperative that an Anne Arundel theft lawyer is contacted as soon as possible.
Theft of property or services valued more than $100 but less than $1,000 is a misdemeanor, conviction for which can result in up to 18 months and/or up to a $500 fine.
Theft of property or services valued under $100 is a misdemeanor, conviction for which can result in up to 90 days in jail and/or up to a $500 fine therefore it is imperative to consult with an Anne Arundel theft lawyer as soon as you are accused.
Enhanced Penalties For Third And Subsequent Offenses
Anyone who has been convicted a total of three times of theft under $1,000 can be fined up to $5,000 and may be forced to serve a five-year prison term.
Enhanced Penalties For Certain Designated Crimes:
- Motor vehicle theft (Section 7-105)
- Bad checks (Section 7-107)
- Robbery (Sections 3-402; 3-403; 3-405)
- Carjacking (Section 3-405(b)(1))
How An Anne Arundel Theft Lawyer Can Help
Theft charges in Anne Arundel County must be taken seriously. With the help of an aggressive Anne Arundel theft lawyer, you can fight to preserve your rights and reputation in court. There is no way to ensure a positive outcome in any legal matter, but taking the time to protect yourself with experienced counsel is a step in the right direction. Contact our responsive team to set up your free initial consultation.