Seasoned Legal Representation In Theft Crimes
In Maryland, the theft statute encompasses a large variety of offenses. Theft occurs when one actually took someone else’s property if an individual used fraud or undue influence to obtain control over another’s property or received stolen goods. You can even face theft charges if you simply were with someone who committed theft.
Types Of Theft Crimes
Theft charges are structured in conjunction with the value of the alleged stolen property, so the higher the alleged value, the greater the potential sentence. For example:
- Theft under $100.00 is “petty theft,” but it still carries a possible sentence of 90 days in jail.
- Theft between $100 and $1500, a misdemeanor, carries a potential sentence of six (6) months incarceration for a first offender. A second offender faces a maximum possible sentence of one (1) year in jail.
- Theft of property over $1,500.00 and more is a felony, and the sentences range from five to 20 years.
In Maryland, you can also be charged with a theft “scheme.” This charge would arise when the person allegedly committed theft over a certain period in a consistent manner. For example, an employee who repeatedly stole money from the register or merchandise from the stock room could face charges on the basis of a theft scheme.
One major problem in theft cases is that statements made to loss prevention officers while detained are not safeguarded like statements made to police officers in the same setting. It is not uncommon for the employer to not only get a confession but to have the employee sign a promissory note for a certain sum of money on the same day that they have been accused of stealing.
Your Rights And Potential Defenses
You have the right to consult legal counsel before talking with your employer and/or the loss prevention officer, and you should never be bullied into signing a confession. A criminal defense advocate can help from the moment you are accused. However, even if someone did confess to their employer or its staff, the state must still prove its case in court, and a lawyer can guide you and help you build a solid case.
A common defense to theft is that one had an honest belief that they had the right to possess the property allegedly stolen. Also, if multiple persons are accused of stealing property, a defense would be possible if one of the accused did not know that the other person intended to steal the property and did not assist that person in stealing it.
Being found guilty of theft can be life-changing. A conviction leads to more than jail time but also fewer employment prospects. The attorneys at Ortega Law, LLC, in Pasadena, have the experience you need to get a different outcome in your case.
Your Initial Consultation Has No Cost
You have nothing to lose and many options to fight back. Contact our office today by calling at 410-650-8543 or by filling out this online form. We are proud to serve clients throughout Anne Arundel County.