Montgomery County Theft Lawyer

It is illegal to take the property of another person or party without their permission. While this concept is one of the oldest in criminal law, the state’s statutes concerning theft are surprisingly complex. Not only is it illegal to take another’s property, but it is also illegal to knowingly receive stolen property. This second portion of the Montgomery County theft laws results in many peoples’ theft cases.

The severity of the charge mostly depends upon the value of the items alleged to have been taken. Consequently, a theft charge can range from a minor misdemeanor to serious felonies. But in any case, a conviction will create a criminal record that could affect your employability or potential for benefits.

A Montgomery County theft lawyer could help if you are facing any type of theft allegation. Dedicated criminal attorneys work to dispute the idea that any taking was done without the permission of the owner or to refute the idea that a defendant accepted stolen items with the knowledge that they were stolen.

The Concept of Theft in Criminal Law

The basic concept behind theft is clear enough. Maryland Criminal Law Code Ann. §7-104 says that it is a crime for any person to willfully take control over another person’s property with the intent of depriving the owner of its use. While this can include not just theft for the purpose of keeping an item, it also may include theft that involves selling that item, or simply destroying it.

The state makes no differentiation between thefts achieved through simple taking, such as claiming a purse left on a chair, or theft by deception, such as skipping out on a restaurant bill. The sole exception to this is theft achieved through the use of force. This is known as robbery.

Just as it is illegal to commit a theft, it is also illegal to aid a thief by receiving their stolen goods. The same statute says that receiving property that one knows is stolen is just as severe an offense as actually taking it. A Montgomery County lawyer could help individuals facing allegations of committing a theft or for receiving stolen goods.

How Courts Determine the Severity of a Theft Charge

Outside of allegations of robbery, the severity of a theft charge mainly depends upon the dollar value of the items involved in the incident. In calculating the value of the items, the court will take the full value of all items alleged to have been taken. For example, if the police arrest a defendant and accuse them of taking four cell phones valued at $500 each, the charge will be same as if a defendant supposedly takes one $2,000 television.

As an experienced attorney may be able to explain, the courts use the following table to determine the severity of a theft-related charge:

  • All values of less than $100 are misdemeanors that carry a maximum of 90 days in jail or a fine of up to $500
  • For cases involving $100 to $1,500 are still misdemeanors. However, the maximum jail time may rise to as much as six months in jail
  • Theft cases become felonies for values between $1,500 and $25,000. Convictions here can bring up to five years in prison and fines of up to $10,000
  • Values of between $25,000 and $100,000 are also felonies with a maximum prison term of ten years
  • Finally, all cases of more than $100,000 bring a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and a fine of up to $25,000

No matter how severe the allegation may be, a theft lawyer in MoCo could fight to protect a defendant’s future.

Let a Montgomery County Theft Attorney Provide Assistance

While a theft charge may seem like a minor incident, even an incident involving the receipt of less than $100 of stolen property can create a criminal record and result in a jail sentence. Other allegations of more serious theft are felonies that can forever change your life. It is vital to protect your future at every turn.

Hiring a Montgomery County theft lawyer could help to meet this goal. Attorneys can work to identify a powerful defense to defend your rights. This can include disputing the idea that any theft was deliberate or that you knew that goods were stolen. Contact a lawyer today to discuss your options for the future.

Montgomery County Criminal Lawyer