Rockville Theft Lawyer
Theft is the unlawful confiscation of property belonging to someone else, and it is prosecuted harshly in the state of Maryland. The state aims to deter individuals who wish to commit theft by implementing strict laws and regulations. A theft conviction can result in jail time, probation, community service, and fines. Convicted individuals may also have difficulty finding employment, passing background checks, and securing housing.
A theft conviction may ruin the life of an individual, and prosecutors will do everything in their power to convict an accused person. For this reason, if you have been charged with theft, you cannot afford to take chances by representing yourself. You may need a Rockville theft lawyer who knows how to handle theft cases on your side.
While facing such potential consequences may be overwhelming, you could contact an experienced defense attorney who might be able to provide you the support and legal defense you need.
Key Elements of Theft in Rockville
To prove a person is guilty of theft, the prosecutor will have to establish certain elements. While the definition of theft varies slightly from state to state, a person could generally be charged with theft if they:
- Unlawfully take or carry away property belonging to another person.
- Do not have the consent of the owner to take away the property.
- Intend to deprive the owner of their property indefinitely.
- The person deprived of property is not present at the time it is taken.
As stated above, the accused’s intent is important in theft cases. It is possible for someone to take property belonging to someone else without the intent to keep them. It is also possible for a person to unknowingly take property belonging to someone else. As an adept attorney could explain, theft, unlike robbery, does not involve the use or threat of force. Accused individuals are recommended to consult a Rockville theft attorney who is familiar with these elements of theft to learn their options.
Petty vs. Grand Theft
When charging a person with theft, the court will take various factors into consideration. It will consider the type of property stolen. As an example, stealing a diamond necklace worth thousands of dollars is more serious than stealing a food product from a grocery store. They will also consider how much the property is worth. Individuals charged with stealing expensive items will face stricter sentences.
In general, petty theft is defined as stealing property below a certain market value specified by law. While this amount varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, petty theft is typically defined as stealing property between the value of $500 and $1,000. While petty theft is almost always classified as a misdemeanor, individuals with prior convictions may face felony charges.
Grand theft is a far more serious charge and it is typically charged as a felony. Individuals who unlawfully take property or services valued at more than $1,000 may face grand theft charges, which might result in years behind bars and astronomical fines. As always, individuals with prior convictions, notably theft convictions, could face harsher penalties than first-time offenders.
Since grand theft could result in extensive time behind bars, individuals should reach out to a reputable Rockville theft attorney.
Talk to a Rockville Theft Attorney
Theft charges are serious and a conviction might result in a plethora of punishments and legal challenges. Even if you are not imprisoned, you may still have immense difficulty navigating your community and restoring dignity to your name. There is simply too much at stake when facing such charges.
With the help of the right attorney, you may be able to get your theft charges reduced or dismissed, notably if this is your first charge. Call a Rockville theft lawyer today to discuss your case.