College Park Theft Lawyer
Accusations of theft can be devastating to your career, your family life, and your freedom in some cases. The potential consequences of a theft conviction can be harsh, particularly if it is not a first offense or involves goods or services of a high value. Enlisting the services of a College Park theft lawyer may be a crucial step in your ability to defend yourself against these charges.
Many defenses may be available to you with respect to your theft charges, but you may not be aware of these potential defenses without legal advice. A skilled theft defense attorney may be instrumental in helping you fight these charges and avoid any negative consequences to your life.
Under Md. Code, Crim. Law § 7-102, theft encompasses a variety of different offenses, including larceny, embezzlement, shoplifting, and receiving stolen property. § 7-104 defines theft as intentionally exerting unauthorized control over property when individuals:
- Intend to deprive the owner of the property
- Knowingly use, hide, or abandon the property to deprive the owner of it
- Use, hide, or abandon the property knowing that it will probably deprive the owner of it
This section also covers situations in which individuals intentionally use deception to obtain control of property with the intent to deprive the owner of it or to use, hide, or abandon it knowing that it will probably deprive the owner of it. Receiving, buying, and selling stolen property also constitute theft offenses under this statute.
Penalties for Theft in College Park
The penalties for theft in College Park depend upon the value of the goods or services that were the subject of the theft. Generally, the theft of goods or services worth $1,500 or more is a felony, and anything less than $1,500 is a misdemeanor. Penalties for theft convictions range as follows:
- Less than $100 – maximum 90 days in jail and $500 fine
- Between $100 and $1,500 – maximum six months in jail and $500 fine
- Between $1,500 and $25,000 – maximum five years in prison and $10,000 fine
- Between $25,000 and $100,000 – maximum ten years in prison and $15,000 fine
- Over $100,000 – maximum 20 years in prison and $25,000 fine
Whatever the value of the goods and services, those individuals convicted of theft must restore the stolen property to its owner or pay the owner the value of the goods or services stolen.
Maximum terms of incarceration also may increase for second and subsequent theft convictions. Individuals who fail to pay for motor fuel after dispensing it into their vehicles also may face suspension of their driving privileges.
Motor Vehicle Theft
Motor vehicle theft is a separate theft offense set forth in § 7-105, but also can be subject to prosecution under § 7-104, although convictions under both sections for the same actions merge for the purposes of sentencing.
This section provides that individuals may not knowingly and willfully take a motor vehicle from the lawful custody, control, or use of the owner without consent. Motor vehicle theft is a felony offense that can result in a five-year prison sentence and a $5,000 fine, as well as an order of restitution to the owner of the motor vehicle.
Get in Touch with a College Park Theft Attorney Today
The circumstances that may constitute theft are broad, and the penalties can be very severe. A theft conviction can present an obstacle to getting jobs, credit, and housing in some circumstances.
Contacting a College Park theft lawyer can be helpful to receiving a positive outcome from the charges that you are facing. Raising every possible defense in your case is an important task that only a seasoned criminal defense attorney in College Park may be able to handle. With experienced legal advice, you may be able to avoid some of the most serious repercussions of theft charges.