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Theft, also referred to as larceny or stealing, involves one person taking another person’s property. There are different degrees of stealing, which are defined by what is taken or how much the item is worth. Sometime disputes may arise over the valuation of the property at issue. Prosecutors may argue a high assessment, while defendants fight to prove a smaller value.

If a police officer has approached you regarding an accusation of stealing, you may find the services of a Trussville theft lawyer invaluable. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who is familiar with the local court system may be able to help you develop a strong plan of defense. Your rights and freedom may be at risk, so it is important to take any threat of a criminal charge seriously.

Definition of Theft in Trussville

The main aspects of theft are when a person has control over another person’s property without permission and knows they are exercising that control. Stolen property covers tangible and intangible property. Tangible property means things you can touch and see. Intangible property includes other items, such as stocks, services, contractual rights, or rights to money.

Types of Offenses Related to Stealing

There are four degrees of ordinary theft. There is also theft of lost property, services, trademarks, trade secrets, and receiving stolen property, among others.

First Degree Theft

The most serious theft offense is first-degree theft, which is a Class B felony as noted in Code of Alabama §13A-8-3. A person has violated this rule if the court finds they:

  • Stole property worth more than $2,500
  • Stole property of any value from another person
  • Stole a motor vehicle
  • Planned to steal property, alone or with others, collectively worth at least $1,000 within a 180-day period

Second Degree Theft

Second-degree theft is a Class C felony, as noted in Ala. Code §13A-8-4. A person has violated this rule if they steal property worth between $1,500 and $2,500, a gun or firearm, a controlled substance, or any type of livestock.

Third-Degree Theft

Third-degree theft is a Class D felony and is found in Ala. Code §13A-8-4.1. Theft of a credit card, debit card, or an item worth more than $500, but less than $1,500, is considered third-degree theft.

Fourth Degree Theft

Unlike other charges, fourth-degree theft is not a felony. It is a Class A misdemeanor, which is described in Ala. Code §13A-8-5. This act includes stealing property worth no more than $500.

Other Types of Theft

If someone finds something that another person lost, and the finder knew the real owner lost the property or that the property was delivered to the wrong person, the finder has committed theft of lost property if they keep the property and do not try to find the original owner. It is also theft to obtain services through deception, threat, or false payment. Services could include labor, transportation, and accommodations in hotels. If a person steals trade secrets or trademarks, that is a Class C felony.

Reach Out to a Trussville Theft Attorney Today

An accusation of thievery is a serious matter. If a court convicts you of a felony, you may lose certain rights, have a permanent criminal record, and could face a jail sentence of a year or more. Even a misdemeanor conviction means a court could place you in jail and order you to pay fines. Contact a Trussville theft lawyer to learn more about the process and possible risks you may face. A knowledgeable and aggressive defense attorney may prove invaluable to protect you.