If you were recently charged with stealing property, goods, or money, you’re likely wondering what to expect from the upcoming proceedings. Working with a theft lawyer to understand your case and the potential penalties you face will help you prepare and outline the most effective defense strategy. To get some background information first, learn more about grand theft below.
What Are the Types of Theft?
When you're charged with stealing, your crime will be classified into three degrees based on the type and value of the stolen property. If you steal less than $500, this falls into third-degree theft and is a misdemeanor.
For stolen property valued between $500 and $2,500, you’ll be charged with second-degree theft. However, you may also be charged with second degree if you steal credit cards, controlled substances, or guns—regardless of their value. If you were previously convicted of first- or second-degree theft, though, you’ll automatically be charged with second degree if the property is between $250 and $2,500.
If the stolen goods are high value—anything over $2,500—this is first-degree theft. Like second degree, some items automatically constitute this charge, including any motor vehicle.
Is It a Felony?
Determining whether your crime is a felony will depend on your jurisdiction. In Alabama, there are two cases in which you'd be charged with a felony.
Second-degree theft is a class C felony, which carries a penalty of anywhere from one to 10 years in prison, and a fine up to two times the amount of the stolen property’s value.
First-degree theft is a class B felony. This conviction carries a penalty of at least two years and a maximum of 20 years in prison. You may also have to pay a fine of as much as $30,000.
If you were recently charged with stealing, having a knowledgeable theft lawyer representing your case is crucial. For an attorney with over 20 years of experience, contact Angela L Walker PC Law Office in Foley, AL. Attorney Walker has the legal insight to ensure your case gets the best advocacy possible. Visit her website for more information, and call (251) 970-2575 to schedule a consultation with this knowledgeable theft lawyer today.