Most people understand that taking the property of another without their permission is illegal. This basic example constitutes larceny under state laws. However, it is also against the law to commit many acts that aid or abet the theft of others. This can result in charges that allege the receipt of stolen goods or shoplifting. Theft allegations can come with severe penalties. Even a first offense will create a criminal record and could result in a jail term or the payment of fines. Harsher allegations are felonies that allow a court to sentence a guilty party to multiple years in prison.
An Upper Marlboro theft lawyer could help prevent this outcome. A skilled defense attorney could work to explain the relevant laws, perform a full investigation into the incident, and present a comprehensive defense in court.
Charges Related to Common Theft
The basic concept of theft under state law is straightforward. According to Maryland Criminal Law, § 7-104, theft involves taking any property without the owner’s consent. It can also include allegations that a person has concealed property with the intent to deprive the owner of the use of it.
The statute creates many levels of theft allegations that depend on the value of the items involved. The least serious version of theft applies when the property has a value of below $100. Here, the court may sentence a person to no more than 90 days in jail, a fine of no more than $500, or both.
The rising value of the property means more serious charges. When the value goes above $1,500, the case will be a felony. Convictions of theft for an item between $1,500-$25,000 can result in a prison term of up to five years. Stealing an item between $25,000-$100,000 can result in longer prison sentences. The most extreme examples can bring prison sentences of as long as 20 years.
In other situations, the type of item makes the case more serious. For example, the theft of firearms or motor vehicles can bring enhanced penalties upon a conviction. A carjacking conviction, in particular, carries a potential prison sentence of up to 30 years; and if the carjacker is convicted of other crimes committed while stealing the car—such as felony assault and battery charges—they could face additional jail time. An Upper Marlboro attorney could provide more information about the exact nature of theft charges.
Possible Allegations Related to Simple Theft
Not every theft charge involves alleged theft committed by a defendant. In some situations, a party may face criminal charges despite not personally stealing property.
A common example is the receipt of stolen goods. The same theft statute says it is against the law for any person to receive property they know or should know is stolen. Much like under the larceny statute, the severity of the charge depends upon the value of the items.
Another common charge related to theft is shoplifting. Despite popular belief, criminal charges may still happen even if a person does not remove the merchandise from a store. Maryland law says it is illegal to conceal property with the intent to steal it or to remove a price tag from an item while still in the store. A lawyer in Upper Marlboro could help build a defense against any allegation related to theft.
Contact an Upper Marlboro Theft Attorney Now
Allegations involving theft may seem like minor inconveniences. However, a conviction of even a misdemeanor-level offense will create a criminal record and could require you to pay heavy fines or even serve time in jail. As a result, it is vital to protect your future.
An Upper Marlboro theft lawyer could help you accomplish this goal. They can work with you to explain the state’s larceny laws. No matter the exact nature of your charges, they could take the lead in investigating the incident and developing a defense that meets your specific needs. Call today to schedule an appointment.