Bethesda Theft Lawyer
Theft, or larceny, is one of the most commonly charged crimes in Maryland, and it describes an incident of taking someone else’s property with intent to deprive the owner of that property or knowingly using, concealing, or abandoning the property in the manner that is likely to or does deprive the owner. It encompasses embezzlement, shoplifting, and receiving stolen property.
Since crimes that are charged solely as theft mean that there was no violence used, the penalties are generally less severe than the charges for robbery or burglary. Theft remains a dishonest crime, so in addition to any criminal penalties, there are generally social consequences associated with theft charges that impacts those that are charged. If you have been charged with theft, contact a local Bethesda theft lawyer to protect your criminal records and your freedom. Call an experienced and local attorney today to see how you can remedy your situation.
In addition to general larceny, theft charges in Maryland include larceny by trick, which is gaining control over another person’s property using deceptive means. Larceny after trust is generally charged when the accused is alleged to have taken property from another without authorization after gaining their trust.
This differs from larceny by trick in that the person may not have used deception to gain control of the property, rather the individual has the opportunity for theft because of the relationship of trust. A caregiver to an elderly person or a child’s babysitter may form the type of relationship with the property owner that could make larceny after trust possible.
Embezzlement is limited to circumstances when an employer entrusts an individual with specific funds or assets and the individual uses them for purposes not intended or steals them. It is commonly considered a white-collar crime because it is primarily used by professionals in positions of trust or that have fiduciary relationships, which are considered white-collar positions, such as accountants and bank tellers, among others.
Shoplifting is taking property from a store without paying for it or altering the merchandise’s tag to pay a lower price. Unlike other theft crimes, stores have rights that permit them to detain a shoplifting suspect without the store’s staff being charged with criminal offenses related to imprisoning the individual.
Theft Crime Classifications and Penalties
The criminal charge associated with theft varies based on the value of the property that the individual is charged with taking. Petty theft is applicable when the value of the property taken does not exceed $100. It is a misdemeanor offense that is punishable with fines that do not exceed $500 and incarceration for up to three months.
When the value of the property that is stolen exceeds $100, but does not exceed $1,000, the accused may be charged with misdemeanor theft, which is punishable by fines up to $500 and 18 months incarceration. The charge may be elevated to felony theft when the value of the theft is between $1,000 and $10,000. It is penalized with fines up to $10,00 and up to 10 years in prison.
An individual may also be charged with felony theft when she or he is charged with taking property valued at more than $10,000, but less than $100,000. The penalty for those theft values is enhanced and include fines up to $15,000 and up to 15 years imprisonment. Finally, the last felony theft charge requires the property taken to be valued at more than $100,000. The penalties associated with theft of that value include fines up to $25,000 and up to 25 years in prison.
Let a Bethesda Theft Attorney Assist You
If you or a loved one are facing theft charges, it is imperative that you speak with a Bethesda theft lawyer who can immediately start building the most robust defense possible for your case and ensure that your rights are protected.