Worcester Theft Lawyer
There are several types of theft offenses in Maryland, but no matter which one you have been charged with, theft allegations can be frightening and embarrassing. Whether or not the theft accusations stem from a misunderstanding or poor judgment, a Worcester theft lawyer can be on your side during this challenging time for you and your family.
Common Types of Theft Charges in Maryland
Maryland Code 7-104 defines theft as exerting unauthorized control over property with the intent to deprive another person, or willfully or knowingly using, concealing or abandoning property in a manner that deprives or has a tendency to deprive.
Maryland law identifies numerous kinds of thefts including motor vehicle theft, shoplifting or petty theft, exercising unlawful control over property by means of deception, passing bad checks or check fraud, newspaper theft, receiving or possessing stolen property, exercising control over property that was lost or delivered by mistake, and obtaining paid services by deception or without consent, for instance.
Regardless of the type of theft you are accused of, speaking with a Worcester theft lawyer can help you to understand the charges you face and allow you to begin planning an effective response, in and out of court.
Misdemeanor theft of property valued at less than $100 is a low-level offense often called petty theft. This type of theft carries a penalty of up to 90 days in jail and up to $500 in fines. In addition, if you are convicted of petty theft, you will be required to return the stolen property or reimburse the property owner for the value of what was taken, if it is no longer under your control. Call a Worcester theft lawyer for more specific information on your case.
Misdemeanor Theft of Higher Value Property
Taking property of a value less than $1000 is also considered a misdemeanor charge, but this type of theft carries much harsher penalties, including a potential jail sentence of up to 18 months and fine of up to $500, plus reimbursement or return of the property. If you have any previous theft convictions and are charged with theft of less than $1000, the subsequent offense will be considered a misdemeanor carrying a stricter penalty of up to five years in jail and/or a fine of up to $5000.
Theft of goods or services valued over $1000 is considered a felony offense, and the associated prison time can range from ten to 25 years in prison and fines from $10,000 to $25,000, depending on the total value of goods taken.
Just like with misdemeanor theft, if you are found guilty of felony theft, serving a jail sentence or paying a fine does not restore the victim to the position he or she was in before the property was stolen. You will still be required to return the property taken or reimburse the owner for the total value.
Working with an experienced Worcester theft lawyer can help you to mitigate and possibly even avoid fines, penalties, or restitution by mounting an aggressive defense on your behalf in court. There are no guaranteed outcomes, but hiring excellent representation is an important investment in your future.
Consult an Experienced Worcester Theft Lawyer
If you have been charged with theft, whether it is your first theft-related offense or your tenth, you will need to consult with an experienced theft lawyer in Worcester right away. Your Worcester theft lawyer will be able to determine whether any defenses may apply to your theft charges, such as that you had an honest belief that you were entitled to control the property, or that you were acting in good faith.