Somerset Theft Lawyer
Being convicted of a theft crime can lead to fines and possibly even a trip to jail. Fortunately, if you hire a Somerset theft lawyer, they will work hard for you and may be able to get your fines and/or sentence reduced or dismissed. Therefore, if you have been accused of a theft crime, you should consider consulting a criminal attorney in Somerset.
Why Hire a Somerset Theft Attorney?
When your future depends on having a clean criminal record or avoiding the more serious penalties for multiple convictions, hiring a Somerset theft lawyer is an investment in yourself.
It’s important to remember in any criminal situation that no legal outcomes are guaranteed, but that working with a lawyer as soon as you’re charged can allow you to proactively plan your defense strategy. Having a local attorney who is familiar with the court system is an added advantage of working with a theft lawyer in Somerset.
Theft Charges in Maryland
In Maryland, theft is generally defined as:
- intentionally or knowingly
- acquiring or exerting control over someone else’s property
- without their permission
- resulting in depriving that person of their property (see Maryland Code Section 7-104).
Theft can either be classified as misdemeanor theft or felony theft. The different classification is determined by the amount stolen.
Misdemeanor theft means that the amount taken is less than $1,000. Once the amount reaches $1,000, you can be charged with felony theft and you can potentially face a jail sentence.
Maryland has some severe penalties associated with theft crimes. For example, the penalties for misdemeanor theft of an amount between $100 and $1,000 are potentially 18 months of jail time as well as a $500 fine. You can get a 90-day jail sentence and a $500 fine for the theft of property or services valued at less than $100. The penalties for felony theft are even harsher.
Fortunately, a Somerset theft lawyer may be able to help you. An attorney will understand the different elements of each theft offense. In some situations, he or she may be able to make a case for a lesser charge or lighter penalties. In other situations, it may be possible to have your charges dropped entirely.
How a Somerset Theft Attorney Can Help
When you hire a Somerset theft lawyer, you are hiring a legal advocate. Your lawyer will fight hard to lessen any potential penalties. When a defendant is facing theft charges, there may be ways to avoid a conviction or jail time or reduce the sentence a person is facing, and a criminal defense attorney is vital when seeking these resolutions. There are several things your lawyer can do, including:
- Disprove the element of intent. To be convicted, the prosecutor usually has to prove that you intended to commit a crime. A lawyer can show that you lacked the intent to commit a crime, or can at least introduce doubt as to your intent.
- Show that the police made a mistake. The police are required to follow a strict protocol. Sometimes the police make mistakes. A lawyer may be able to demonstrate that the police did not follow the proper protocol. That could cast doubts over the case against you.
- Argue for judicial leniency. An attorney may ask the judge for leniency. In many instances, your attorney may have a good argument that the statutory penalties are too harsh in light of your circumstances.
If the defendant has no prior offenses, it can work toward the client’s advantage in reducing the sentence or dropping the charge altogether. Sometimes the state’s attorney might offer a pre-court alternative to a defendant. For example, the judge may allow the defendant to do community service in exchange to have their charges dismissed. Sometimes it is possible to get a reduced sentence if the person does not have any prior record.
Occasionally the defendant’s lawyer can negotiate with the state prosecutors to make a favorable recommendation at sentencing, if the state’s case was not that strong, to begin with, and had a deficit in their case and may not have been able to get a conviction. So in exchange for a guilty plea they are willing to make a beneficial recommendation for the defendant.
Call Our Firm Today
A Somerset theft lawyer can make a major difference in the way your criminal charges are handled. Whether you’re looking to fight them in court or to negotiate a favorable plea bargain, the criminal defense team at our firm can help.
An experienced Somerset theft lawyer will know what the issues in the prosecutor’s case are and where to for them. Your attorney should have a good working relationship with the prosecutors’ office, because you want an attorney who can walk in, have a civil and constructive conversation with the prosecutor, and be able to point out the deficits in the state’s case so that they would be willing to consider something short of attending to a convicted defendant.
Call today and talk to one of our lawyers. Your initial consultation is free.