There are several different types of theft charges accused individuals can wind up facing. The penalties and potential consequences associated with theft charges can be significant which makes it especially important for accused individuals to be familiar with the type of theft charges and their criminal defense options.
Type of theft charges
There are several different types of theft charges accused individuals may be charged with depending on the circumstances. If the property that was allegedly stolen was greater than $300, the accused individual may be charged with grand theft. Grant theft is a felony charge and can be punished by up to five years in prison. There are different degrees of grand theft charges.
If the property allegedly stolen is valued at less than $300, the accused individual may be charged with petit theft. Petit theft is generally a misdemeanor charge which can be punished with a sentence up to one year in jail. Petit theft charges may be filed against juveniles. There are different degrees of petit theft charges.
Shoplifting charges are another type of theft charges accused individuals can face. Shoplifting charges are referred to as retail theft. The type of charge and severity of the penalty the accused individual faces depends on the value of the property allegedly taken.
For an accused individual to be found guilty of a theft charge they must have knowingly obtained or used the property of another with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive that person of the right to the property or benefit of the property. Theft charges may also result if the accused individual appropriated property they were not entitled to use. Possible defenses to theft charges can include a good faith belief in the right to possess the property, consent from the property owner or involuntary intoxication.
Other criminal defense options may also be an option. Accused individuals facing theft charges should be familiar with the different types of theft charges and their criminal defense rights.