Howard County Theft Lawyer
A person charged with theft in Howard County is believed to have taken the possession or property of another without that person’s permission. When a person is charged with theft, they should contact a Howard County criminal lawyer who can help them prepare an aggressive defense.
Theft vs. Robbery
When there is a robbery there is a theft, but when there is a theft there is not necessarily a robbery. A robbery includes when a person is in someone’s space and actively takes their stuff while threatening them with violence. A theft includes a taking that does not necessarily involve violence. It can also include shoplifting.
Depending on the amount and the cost of what was stolen, a person who has been charged with theft in Howard County will usually have their case heard in District Court with the option of requesting a trial by jury. The theft charge that a person faces will depend on the value of the goods that were taken. In Maryland, there are different levels of theft depending on the value and the property that was taken.
Theft Conviction and Penalties
For a person to be convicted of committing a theft, Howard County prosecutors will need to prove that the individual took the property without the owner’s permission with the intent to deprive the owner of the use of enjoying that property. Basically, the State will need to prove that a person took something, knew that they were taking something, and didn’t have the owner’s permission to take it.
If a person is convicted of theft for a small dollar amount in Howard County, they may face incarceration for up to 90 days. For higher dollar amounts, a person can be convicted of a felony with 20-25 years of active incarceration. The nature of the theft and the value of the property that was stolen will help determine the penalty if convicted.
In Defense of Theft Charges
A defense of theft will involve arguing one of the elements of the case. One defense may involve arguing that the person did not take the item and that there was no intent. This may mean that the person charged did not know that they were taking the property and the property slipped in their bag without their knowledge, or that they had permission to take the property. An example of a defense is when a person says that they were given authorization to borrow and drive the person’s vehicle.
Theft defense also involve the issue of identity. A prosecutor must prove that the person who has been charged was actually the person who committed the infraction. A Howard County theft lawyer can be extremely helpful in presenting or preparing any of those defenses.
A Howard County theft attorney is going to have a lot more experience representing these kinds of cases and preparing defenses. They will be able to determine what may be the most aggressive defense based on the facts and evidence of the case and which defenses are most likely to be accepted in Howard County courts.