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Under Alabama law, there are numerous theft offenses, and the penalties for their violation can be serious. The nature of dishonest crimes makes it more difficult for those convicted to seek employment since most positions have some requirement of trustworthiness, and a lack of employment opportunities can affect all areas of an individual’s life. If you have been charged with theft in Hoover, it is important that you consult an experienced defense attorney with a background in theft cases. A professional Hoover theft lawyer can aggressively defend your rights and protect your future.

Theft Crimes

Knowingly obtaining or taking control of another individual’s property, without authorization, and with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of that property constitutes theft. Additionally, using deception to take control of another’s property, securing a service from another individual without providing payment, extortion, and receiving stolen property are also forms of theft in Hoover.

Potential Theft Sentencing

When the value of the item(s) taken exceeds $2,500, it is punishable as a Class B felony because it is a first-degree theft. Class B felonies are punishable by at least two, but not more than, 20 years of imprisonment and a fine that does not exceed a $30,000.

When the value of the item(s) taken is less than $2,500, but more than $500, the accused may be charged with second-degree theft, which is a Class C felony. If the value of the property taken is less than $500, it is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor. The penalties for Class A misdemeanors include fines up to $6,000 and incarceration for up to 12 months.

Regardless of the value, when the item(s) taken includes a firearm, credit card, or controlled substance such as prescription medication, the theft also rises to a Class C felony. Class C felonies are punishable by at least 12 months and one day in jail, as long as 10 years of imprisonment, and a fine that does not exceed $15,000.

Shoplifting Defense

Shoplifting is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor in Hoover. Unlike some other states, it is not classified as its own separate statute so theft of at least $501 from a retail store can result in a felony charge. This is true if convicted, even when the actual taking was accidental. Even though shoplifting is a fairly common charge, it is not treated as a nominal offense and there is no right to diversionary programs, even when the defendant is a first-time offender.

Additionally, when someone is suspected of shoplifting, shopkeepers can detain and arrest those that are believed to be involved in the theft of goods, which could have an impact on the criminal case or a civil case that the shopkeeper may wish to bring later.

Contacting a Hoover Theft Lawyer

Theft is a serious charge that is subject to long-term penalties, both during its time in the criminal justice system and after navigating it. Moreover, many fail to recognize the severity of the penalties that they face because of the commonness of the charges. If you have been charged with theft in Hoover, Alabama, it is imperative that you contact a skilled Hoover theft lawyer to aggressively defend your innocence, rights, and future.