Frederick County Theft Lawyer
Maryland’s criminal courts located in Frederick County take allegations involving theft very seriously. Even the theft of an item valued at less than $100 could be a misdemeanor level crime where a conviction might result in a jail term. It could be essential that any person who is facing allegations of theft take steps to protect themselves.
One of these steps could be to hire a Frederick County theft lawyer. An accomplished criminal attorney could work to achieve the goals of their clients that can range from coming to a fair plea deal to avoid jail time to refuting the charges in court, to presenting a defense to juries.
The Concepts Behind Theft Charges in Maryland
The core concept of theft charges in Maryland is easy to understand. Maryland Criminal Law Code §7-104, states that it is against the law for any person to take property from another with the purpose of depriving the true owner of its use. This may apply to physical property, money, or even electronic bank funds.
A person may also commit theft by deception. An example here could include advertising a service to fix a car but instead keeping the item for your own use. Other examples of theft can include:
- Possessing stolen property
- Receiving stolen property
A Frederick County theft attorney could help individuals charged with any sort of theft offense. They could to work to disprove the notion that a person has come into possession of stolen items.
What are Common Types of Theft Charges in Frederick County?
Theft charges in Frederick County take several different forms, and the nature of a particular offense will have a significant impact on the severity of the associated penalties. There are different factors that determine the categorization of theft charges, such as the value of the stolen property and the manner in which it was stolen. Theft charges can range from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on how much the stolen goods were worth.
Some of the most common theft charges in the area include:
- Shoplifting, which involves stealing merchandise from a store
- Robbery, which involves the use or threat of force to commit theft
- Certain degrees of Burglary, which involves illegally entering a building to commit theft
There are also some white-collar crimes that involve the crime of theft. For example, embezzlement and various other types of fraud occur when individuals illegally obtain money or property that does not belong to them, often in a corporate setting. A Frederick County theft attorney could further explain the differences between these types of theft during an initial consultation.
The Potential Penalties for Conviction
The penalties for a conviction under Maryland’s theft statutes depend upon the value of the items alleged to have been taken. Under Maryland Criminal Law Code §7-104 (g), there are five levels of penalties available for a theft conviction:
- Values of over $100,000 is a felony and a conviction here may result in a maximum prison sentence of 25 years and a fine up to $25,000
- Values between $25,000 and $100,000 may carry a maximum prison sentence of ten years and $15,000 in fines
- Items valued at between $1,500 and $25,000 are a felony with a maximum fine of $10,000 and a prison sentence of up to five years
- Items valued at between $100 and $1,500 may lead to misdemeanor convictions which involve a jail sentence of up to six months, a fine of up to $500, or both
- All thefts valued at under $100 are misdemeanors where a maximum jail sentence of 90 days and a maximum fine of $500 may apply
No matter the severity of the charge, a conviction could result in the creation of a criminal record that may affect a person’s job, housing, and eligibility for benefits. A Frederick County lawyer could understand this and works for you to help prevent a theft conviction.
Talk to a Frederick County Theft Attorney
Taking any person’s property with the intent of depriving the owner of its use is illegal. Even if a defendant is accused of taking property with the intent of destroying it or selling it, Maryland’s theft laws could apply. A conviction is always a serious matter, even for low-value items.
A Frederick County theft lawyer could help to defend people against these allegations in criminal courts. They work with clients to formulate realistic goals and to develop strategies needed to bring these goals to reality. Contact an attorney today to learn more.