Get help from Lexington theft defense lawyer Dan Carman if you’re charged with theft, because a theft charge is a big deal in Kentucky. The criminal process and penalties can be just as harsh for it as they are for other crimes. A theft conviction can also impact your future job prospects and how you’re perceived by family, friends, and your community.
At the Lexington, Kentucky, Dan Carman PLLC law firm, we take every criminal charge seriously. No matter your needs for your theft defense, we will put you first. Call our legal team as soon as you know you are facing these charges.
An Attorney for Theft Arrest Can Defend Your Rights in State or Federal Court
State and Federal Theft Charges Cover Every Situation
Under Kentucky law, more than a dozen crimes are considered theft, including:
- Identity theft
- Credit card theft
- Theft by deception
- Theft of lost property
- Theft of services
- Theft of telecommunications services
- Theft by extortion
- Receiving stolen property
- Theft of mail
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you could be charged with a federal crime. Some federal charges include:
- Identity theft
- Misuse of public funds
- Theft or embezzlement by a bank employee or officer
- Theft that involves crossing state lines
- Theft or embezzlement involving federal funds
- Theft of livestock
- Theft of major artwork
- Theft by fraud by using the mail, telephone or internet
- Theft by securities fraud
- Theft or embezzlement involving Medicare or Medicaid
- Theft of medical products.
You may or may not have committed the crime. Defenses may lessen the consequences, or the charges could be dismissed. If that’s not an option and you committed the crime because you were in a bad situation in desperate need of money, admitting what happened and honestly declaring your regrets may reduce your sentence. No matter your situation, after a conversation with a theft defense attorney, you’ll have a better idea which option’s best for you.
A Lexington Theft Defense Attorney Can Help You No Matter the Charge
Sentences Range from a Maximum of 90 Days to Fifty Years in Prison
The severity of the state charges against you depends on the nature and details of the alleged crime and the value of the property or services involved. There are major differences between a misdemeanor and a felony in terms of punishment and the future consequences for you and your family. The range of crimes is:
- Class A misdemeanor: This is theft of property valued from $500 to less than $1,000. There’s a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $500 fine. If you’re convicted three times in five years, the crime becomes a Class D felony
- Class B misdemeanor: The theft involves property worth less than $500 carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $250 fine.
- Class A felony: Repeated theft of anhydrous ammonia with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine is punishable by 20 to 50 years in prison.
- Class B felony: The property involved is worth more than $1,000,000. This crime carries a possible prison sentence of ten to 20 years.
- Class C felony: Theft of property valued between $10,000 and $1,000,000. If convicted, you would face five to ten years in prison.
- Class D felony: This crime carries a possible prison sentence of one to five years. It includes stealing property worth $1,000 to $10,000; a controlled substance worth less than $10,000; a firearm; or anhydrous ammonia of any value.
As you see, the difference between theft of something worth $9,999 and $10,000 is a sentence of from one to five years or one of five to ten. Beyond imprisonment, you could be ordered to pay a costly fine, perform community service, probation, or restitution. A Lexington theft defense lawyer may negotiate a plea bargain agreement so you face the least penalty possible given your situation.
A Lawyer for a Theft Charge May Use Many Defenses
The prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. Depending on the facts and applicable law, an attorney for theft arrest could present many defenses, including:
- You had a good faith belief that the property was yours or you had a valid claim to it. Evidence would be needed to support your claim.
- You were so intoxicated because of drug or alcohol use that you lacked the required intent for a criminal charge involving theft. You may have mistakenly thought the property was yours and taken it by mistake.
- Mistaken identity or an alibi could show that you didn’t commit the theft. These defenses say that the person claiming it was you is mistaken, and you were elsewhere at the time of the crime.
Returning stolen property isn’t a defense to a theft charge. Doing so may put you in a more sympathetic light so a prosecutor may agree to a favorable plea bargain agreement. It may help with reducing the penalties in your case. You could admit your mistake and state that you are trying to make things right.
Often those charged with theft are substance abusers and addicted to illegal drugs. They resort to stealing from friends or family members, shopping, writing bad checks, or breaking into cars to steal valuables to generate cash to buy more drugs. Admitting to the crime, the addiction, and seeking treatment may also help with a favorable plea bargain agreement negotiated by a Lexington theft defense attorney, which leaves you with consequences you can accept.
The Lasting Consequences of a Conviction of Theft
Conviction on a theft charge can have consequences that linger long after you have done the time or paid the fine. It may keep you from getting the job you really want. You could also face difficulties finding adequate housing. If you’re charged for another crime in the future, the theft conviction could complicate your defense and worsen possible penalties for those charges.
Help is Available from a Theft Defense Lawyer
Don’t give up hope after being arrested, and don’t answer questions from the police without first consulting a lawyer for a theft charge. There may be many weaknesses to the prosecution’s case, but you probably won’t know what they are until a Kentucky criminal defense attorney represents you. A phone call to criminal defense lawyer Dan Carman at 859-685-1055 should be the next step you should take. Contact us by phone or through our online form.