Ocean City Theft Lawyer
If you have been accused of taking something that is not yours, an Ocean City theft lawyer will help you fight against the criminal charges you are facing. Conviction for theft can have a profound impact on your future and can take away your freedom. A theft lawyer in Ocean City will work hard to help you avoid conviction or get the best outcome that is possible given the circumstances of your case.
How Can an Ocean City Theft Lawyer Help You?
If a prosecutor cannot prove an owner was intentionally deprived of the value of his property, there can be no conviction for a theft offense. The prosecutor has the burden of proving each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
An Ocean City theft lawyer can keep evidence of stolen property out of court if it was found during an illegal search that violated the Fourth Amendment. An Ocean City theft lawyer can also argue that a mistake was made, that you had a rightful claim to the property, or that entrapment occurred and you committed a crime you otherwise wouldn’t have if law enforcement had not enticed you.
Those are just a few of many possible defenses that can be raised in theft cases. The right approach to responding to charges should be determined based on the specifics of your case. Call an Ocean City theft lawyer for the legal advice you need to make informed choices and make your way through the case against you.
Ocean City Theft Laws
There are multiple laws in the Maryland criminal code that prohibit different types of theft in Ocean City:
- Maryland Code Section 7-104 prohibits general theft offenses.
- Code Section 7-106 prohibits the theft of newspapers in order to prevent others from reading them.
The general offense of theft includes any attempt to willfully and knowingly deprive the rightful owner of any of the value of his or her property. This can include taking property; concealing or abandoning property; failing to make attempts to return lost or mislaid property to a rightful owner; or possessing property with knowledge that it is stolen.
Prohibitions against theft also extend to theft of services, as Code Section 7-104 prohibits obtaining services available for compensation without paying or permission. For more specific information on the charges you are facing contact an Ocean City theft lawyer as soon as possible.
Ocean City Theft Penalties
The value of the items taken determines whether theft is a misdemeanor or felony offense.
- Theft of items valued at less than $100 is a misdemeanor with a possible penalty of 90 days jail time and $500 in fines.
- Theft of items valued at $100 to less than $1,000 is a misdemeanor with a possible penalty of 18-months jail time and $500 fines.
- Theft of items valued at $1,000 to less than $10,000 is a felony with a possible penalty of 10 years and a possible fine of up to $10,000.
- Theft of items valued at $10,000 to less than $100,000 is a felony with a possible penalty of 15 years imprisonment and a possible fine of $15,000.
- Theft of items at $100,000 or higher is a felony with a potential penalty of $25,000 and 25 years imprisonment.
The item(s) allegedly stolen may need to be returned to the owner or the owner may be entitled to compensation for the value of the items.
Contacting a Lawyer
A person who might be facing larceny charges should contact an Ocean City theft lawyer immediately, even if they have not yet been charged. If a person might be approached by the police, called by a police department, a loss prevention officer from a store, or anyone who wants to have a conversation with them about a potential theft that took place. In any of those situations, that person needs to understand that they have a constitutional right to remain silent and have no obligation to speak to anyone.
Some of the biggest mistakes happen when people are interviewed by the police. The person has every right to say, “I’m not going to talk to you about this,” or, “I want to consult with an attorney and then I’ll have my attorney contact you,” and that is okay. Anybody in that position should contact an Ocean City theft attorney before they make any statements to a police officer.
An Ocean City theft lawyer can aid their client in dealing with court-related paperwork, investigating the charges to ensure that all evidence has been correctly gathered and treated, petitioning to have evidence thrown out if it was illegally obtained by law enforcement, and ensure that all of your rights are upheld in a court of law.