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People are accused of crimes every day in the United States. Just because someone is accused does not automatically mean that this individual will be convicted. Every person is entitled to a fair and impartial criminal trial, in which the standard of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” These rights are guaranteed by the Constitution.

If you have questions about criminal laws in Alabama, specifically larceny and theft, contact a Talladega theft lawyer for more information. An experienced defense attorney in Talladega can help you understand your charges and understand your next steps moving forward.

How Does the Law Define Larceny or Theft?

The law defines larceny and theft very specifically depending on the jurisdiction.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, larceny/theft is defined as the taking of property or money without personal contact.

The law distinguishes between completed acts and attempted acts. Within this framework, there are several other types of theft offenses:

  • Burglary – typically, a burglary is an entry into a building without the consent of the owner, with the intent to commit a crime (usually theft)
  • Robbery – taking against the will of the property owner, usually involving a threat of physical force
  • Embezzlement – wrongful taking of another’s property, where the defendant had temporary possession or legal right over the property
  • Extortion – physical threat or use of force to obtain another’s consent to a taking

Misdemeanors and Felonies

The harshness of a criminal sentence is usually considered from the facts and circumstances surrounding the criminal offense. A misdemeanor is a criminal offense that could result in up to one year in prison. Fines for misdemeanors are usually much higher than infractions. Some misdemeanors include Driving Under the Influence (DUI), indecent exposure, sexual misconduct, animal cruelty, house parties, disorderly conduct, gun permit violations, and harassment.

Felonies represent the most serious crimes and carry the harshest sentences. A felony has a minimum of one year in prison, and fines could reach up to $30,000. Some examples of felonies are rape, murder, robbery, and arson. The law distinguishes theft offenses that involve large sums of money, automobiles, small sums of money, and property. Each scenario has different consequences.

Under Alabama Code, theft of property in the first degree includes property that exceeds $2500 in value, any value of property taken from the person of another, any motor vehicle, and theft by a common plan or scheme. These are considered Class B felonies, which have the potential to result in prison time of two to 20 years and fines up to $30,000.

Talk to a Talladega Theft Attorney Today

If you have been accused of a theft crime, remember that you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. There are other options that could be available depending on the criminal offense.

Instead of jail time, some defendants have received sentences involving community service or participation in diversion and rehabilitation programs. Other defendants took their chances at trial and prevailed. If you would like a consultation regarding your case, call a Talladega theft lawyer now.