Arrested for Theft / Shoplifting?

Don’t think a criminal charge for theft in Kentucky isn’t a big deal. If you’re the one charged, the criminal process can be just as daunting as it is for other crimes and the consequences can be just as harsh. A theft conviction can impact your future job prospects and how you’re perceived by family, friends and your community.

At the Lexington, Kentucky, law firm of Dan Carman PLLC, we take every criminal charge seriously. No matter what your needs are for criminal defense, we put them first. Call our legal team as soon as you know you are facing theft charges.

Classification of Kentucky Theft Crimes

Under Kentucky law, there are more than a dozen crimes falling under the category of theft, including:

  • Theft of services
  • Theft of telecommunications services
  • Theft by extortion
  • Receiving stolen property
  • Theft of mail
  • Shoplifting

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you could also be charged with a federal crime. Some federal charges involving theft 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

The severity of the charges against you depend not only on the nature and details of the offense, but also on the dollar value of the property or services involved. Whether the crime is classified as a misdemeanor or a felony is an important distinction in terms of punishment and the consequences for your future. We can explain the differences to you and go over your options. We know that small differences can sometimes make a huge difference.

Potential Defenses to a Theft Charge

Just because you’ve been arrested and charged with theft doesn’t mean you’ll be convicted. The prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt you committed the crime. The defenses available for use in your case depend on the facts of the case and could include,

  • You had a good faith belief the property was yours or you had a valid claim to it. Evidence would be needed to support your claim.
  • If you were so intoxicated because of drug or alcohol use 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 be used to show you didn’t commit the theft. These defenses say that the person claiming it was you is mistaken, or that at the time of the crime, you were elsewhere.

Returning stolen property isn’t a defense to a theft charge. Doing so may put someone 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, they shoplift, write bad checks or break 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 plea bargain agreement or lessen penalties.

Penalties for Kentucky Theft Crimes

A conviction for any type of theft could result in,

  • Jail time
  • A costly fine
  • Community service
  • Probation
  • Restitution

We will work on your behalf to aggressively defend you against theft charges and obtain the most favorable outcome possible.

Lasting Consequences of Conviction

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

Don’t give up hope after being arrested, and don’t answer questions from police without first consulting an attorney. There may be many weaknesses to the prosecution’s case but you probably won’t know what they are until a criminal defense attorney represents you. A phone call to Dan Carman could be the next step you need to take. Contact us by phone or through our online form.