Alabama Theft Penalties | Felony or Misdemeanor
The penalties that follow a theft conviction depend on the classification of the original Alabama theft charge, and they have the potential to be extensive and serious. The charges are classified as Class B Felonies, Class C Felonies, Class D Felonies, and Class A Misdemeanors. Class B Felonies are punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment. Class C Felonies can be punished by up to 10 years imprisonment and the D Felonies are punishable with up to 5 years incarceration. Your criminal defense attorney will explain the difference between an Alabama theft felony and an Alabama theft misdemeanor. If the stolen property is a motor vehicle, then an Alabama theft of vehicle is always a felony. Regardless of which law enforcement agency made the arrest, Whitney Polson and his father Mark will be familiar with the officers.
Alabama theft penalties may also include restitution, which means paying the rightful owner the value of the item taken, if the item cannot be returned in the same condition. Sentencing can also include rehabilitative programs and/or probation. To best defend against Alabama theft penalties, someone facing these serious charges should contact an Alabama theft lawyer who will begin working on their case as soon as possible.
Alabama Theft of Property Misdemeanor
According to Alabama theft law, theft of property in the fourth degree is a Class A Misdemeanor, which means the value of the property is less than $500, but it is still a crime of moral turpitude. Accordingly, if convicted, the person still can lose certain rights so when clients are charged with theft cases, attorneys try to negotiate sentence reductions and/or amendments to other charges that do not have the moral turpitude consequence and subsequent theft penalties.
We Can Help Get Your Sentence Reduced
Alabama theft lawyers Whitney Polson and Mark Polson have been successful in negotiating reduced charges and arguing for pre-trial diversion, which requires their client to take classes and complete community service, among other requirements that may be set forth, in exchange for the case being dismissed and withdrawn. Typically, people are interested in retrieving their property so, if the option of returning property is available, attorneys will negotiate for that outcome as well.
Enhanced Sentencing Factors and Sentencing Guidelines
Alabama has a habitual offender statute that allows enhanced punishment and theft penalties in Alabama for people with a prior criminal history. Alabama also has sentencing guidelines, which are a departure from the traditional statutory provisions. For example, a Class B Felony cannot be punished with less than two years’ incarceration nor more than 20 years. However, under the sentencing guidelines, there is a mechanism that weighs out different factors, one of which is prior criminal history.
One of the consequences of the sentencing guidelines, however, is that judges and prosecutors lose some discretion. There has to be a compelling reason to depart from the guidelines, and judges sometimes find that it is easier to follow the recommended guidelines than sentencing outside those guidelines. Therefore, sentencing in Alabama is complex. This underscores the importance of having an experienced theft attorney to interpret and argue the guideline consequences.
An Alabama Theft Lawyer Knows What to Do
A lawyer will spend time with their client and help them understand theft law and some of the possible consequences when charged with theft. Additionally they try to make referrals if counseling, drug counseling, or marital counseling is needed, because there may be underlying events that triggered the behavior that resulted in the client’s arrest. Once someone speaks to an experienced attorney to begin their case to mitigate their theft penalties in Alabama, they will feel a sense of relief because their Alabama attorney will work hard to get the best possible outcome in their case.