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Theft is a broad crime in Homewood and encompasses lots of different kinds of activity. The penalties for a conviction, though, are not trivial. Depending on the valued of the allegedly stolen property, a conviction can lead to years in jail and steep fines.

A Homewood theft lawyer understands the law and how prosecutors tend to pursue theft charges in the area. The insight an attorney could provide may make a huge difference in how your case turns out. Contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to start reviewing potential legal options and applicable defense strategies.

The Many Different Types of Theft in Homewood

The law considers theft to be knowingly taking unauthorized control over someone else’s property, coupled with the intention to deprive the rightful owner of their property. Of course, this can be done in a huge variety of ways.

For example, one type of theft crime is extortion. Covered by Alabama Code § 13A-8-13, extortion involves knowingly taking unauthorized control over someone else’s property by using threats or intimidation.

Another type of theft involves property that has been lost or misplaced. The theft of lost property is covered by Alabama Code § 13A-8-6, and applies to taking property that is known “to have been lost or mislaid.” This includes property that has, for example, been delivered through the mail to the wrong address.

The numerous different types of theft can make it difficult to understand what the law prohibits, and what is permissible. A consultation with a Homewood theft lawyer can help to make sure the law is not being broken.

The Value and Nature of the Property Matters

Two important parts of a theft case are the value of the property and the nature of the property. If the property was especially valuable and worth a lot of money, the penalties of a conviction increase significantly. Penalties also increase if the property belongs to certain categories of things that can be stolen.

So, if the value of the property was under $500, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor. A conviction for this crime comes with up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $6,000. However, if the property was valued at more than $2,500, the offense becomes a Class B felony, which carries between two and 20 years in jail, as well as a fine of up to $30,000.

The type of property can also impact the severity of the crime. The theft of a car, no matter how valuable the car might be, is always a Class B felony. Likewise, the theft of any of the following items, regardless of their value, is a Class C felony:

  • A credit or debit card
  • A firearm
  • Livestock
  • Controlled or illegal drugs

The penalties for a Class C felony include a fine of up to $15,000 and a jail sentence of between one and ten years. A person facing a theft offense should refrain from issuing any statements to police and consult a skilled Homewood theft lawyer immediately.

How a Homewood Theft Attorney Can Help

By representing you both inside the courtroom and outside of it, a Homewood theft lawyer can challenge the prosecutor’s case and raise effective legal defenses that can raise reasonable doubts and doom the case against you. By offering evidence that you did not intend to deprive the other person of their property, that you were not the person who committed the crime, or that your rights were violated, an attorney can protect you from serious criminal charges that you should not be facing. Contact a Homewood theft lawyer for the legal help that you need to beat these serious accusations and protect your rights and future.