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Theft in Montgomery County is a serious offense. You could be looking at misdemeanor or felony charges depending on a number of factors. Often, theft is combined with other charges, such as breaking and entering. You will need to fully understand the charges you face as it can impact your entire life for the foreseeable future.
Your penalties can be harsh, but they are in place as a deterrent to prevent others from stealing what is not theirs. An aggressive defense can help you to overcome time in prison as well as significant fines.
There may be a lot of terms thrown around when you are being charged with theft.
Petty theft and grand theft are two of the most common charges. The stolen property’s value determines which one you would be charged with. If you steal property that is valued at less than $950, it is petty theft. Otherwise, anything over $1,000 would be grand theft.
If you use violence, intimidation or a threat, the theft turns into a robbery, which comes with heavier penalties, too. If you rob using a gun or a knife, it is now armed robbery because you are threatening with intent to harm a person. These penalties can be even more serious, with several years in state prison in many instances.
Fraud and embezzlement are also forms of theft, often identified as felonies. These are considered “white collar” crimes and are usually performed by someone that is trusted with the money. It’s not uncommon for such crimes to involve felony charges because they involve thousands and even millions of dollars.
The penalties you could face are going to depend on the type of theft you have committed, or are suspected of committing. You could be looking at between 30 days and seven years for the theft. Obviously, there’s a big difference there. This is why it’s critical to work with a lawyer. You don’t want to spend seven years in prison, so the goal is to work the sentencing down as a result of being able to offer community service or return the goods undamaged.
Misdemeanors generally include a small fine and up to 30 days in jail. First and second-degree felonies could result in prison time as well as larger fines.
The penalties will be based on consent, entrapment, duress, the value of the property, your age, as well as whether you have committed such crimes in the past. All of this will be used against you by the prosecuting attorney. Having legal counsel on your side will also make it easier to overcome these issues to, potentially, reduce the charges.
Montgomery County theft lawyers can help you in a number of ways. Especially if this is your first offense, it can be difficult to know the process. A lawyer will talk to you about the various hearings that you may have to go through before getting to the trial. Depending on the opposing counsel, there may also be the opportunity to accept a plea bargain.
The first step is establishing fault. Did you do what you’re accused of or not? This will determine how the case is going to be built. There may be the necessity to conduct an investigation to prove that you were not responsible for whatever was stolen. Otherwise, the case is built to reduce your sentencing.
You don’t want to go through the legal process on your own. It’s critical to work with a lawyer in Montgomery County that specializes in theft cases. It will make it easier to navigate the laws on your behalf.
Contact us today to have your case reviewed. It may be the best opportunity to reduce the charges and your sentencing