Pelham Theft Lawyer
Theft convictions carry serious criminal penalties, but they also can result in other consequences that you might not initially expect. Theft involves an element of dishonesty, which could cause difficulties in finding a job. If you are facing theft charges, contacting a Pelham theft lawyer may be wise.
A well-versed criminal defense attorney may be able to examine your case and weigh the evidence against you. With the legal advice, you may be in a better position to make decisions about your case and determine the strongest strategy for defending yourself against the charges.
Ala. Code § 13A-8-2 provides that theft occurs whenever someone intentionally takes one or more of the following actions to deprive the owner or custodian of property:
- Taking or exercising unlawful control over property belonging to others
- Exercising unlawful control over property belonging to others by deception
- Taking or exercising unlawful control over property in the custody of a law enforcement agency that an agent has represented as stolen
- Taking or exercising unlawful control over property that others have left to donate to charitable organizations
Theft offenses are classified into four separate degrees, primarily depending on the value of the property that was the subject of the theft. However, as a Pelham theft lawyer may know, some items, regardless of their value, fall under different degrees of theft, as well.
Under Ala. Code § 13A-8-3, first-degree theft occurs when the property is valued at $2,500 or greater or when individuals take the property of any value directly from other persons. Second-degree theft occurs pursuant to Ala. Code § 13A-8-4 when individuals take property valued at $1,500 or more, but less than $2,500, any firearm, rifle, or shotgun, any controlled substance, or any livestock.
Third-degree theft occurs under Ala. Code § 13A-8-4.1 when individuals take property valued at between $500 and $1,499, as well as credit cards or debit cards. Finally, fourth-degree theft is defined at Ala. Code § 13A-8-5 and involves property valued at less than $500.
Charges and Penalties in Pelham
First-degree theft is a Class B felony, which can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years, as well as a fine of up to $30,000. Second-degree theft is a Class C felony, which carries a potential sentence of incarceration of between one and 10 years and a fine of up to $15,000.
Third-degree theft is a Class D felony. A conviction on Class D felony charges can result in a sentence ranging from one year and one day to five years, and it may result in a term of probation with various conditions. Fourth-degree theft is a Class A misdemeanor that can result in a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $6,000.
Other Offenses Involving Theft
In addition to theft, Alabama law also defines other criminal offenses that involve some element of theft. For example, receiving stolen property pursuant to Ala. Code § 13A-8-16 can occur when persons receive, keep, or get rid of property that they know to be or reasonably believe to be stolen. Other offenses that involve an element of theft include:
- Robbery, or theft directly from a person
- Burglary, or unlawful entry into a home or business in order to commit theft
- Identity theft, embezzlement, fraud, and other white-collar crimes
- Shoplifting or unlawfully taking items from retailers
All of these offenses can have serious implications, depending on the situation. For anyone facing any type of theft charge or other offense involving theft, contacting a theft attorney in Pelham may be advantageous.
How a Pelham Theft Attorney Could Help
Defending yourself against theft charges can be crucial to keeping your criminal record clean, obtaining certain jobs, and pursuing certain careers. A theft conviction also can be costly in terms of the loss of your freedom, high fines, and restitution costs. If you are in this situation, a Pelham theft lawyer may be able to assist you.
Having a strong legal advocate to work on your behalf may place you in a better position to resolve your criminal charges in a positive manner. By getting legal help when you need it, you may be more likely to achieve your goals.