If you or a loved one have been accused of theft in or around the Minneapolis area, it can be a truly devastating experience. The consequences can be severe, including prison time and/or costly fines, and can have a lasting impact on your future. No matter how trying this experience may be, there is one course of action you must take as quickly as possible: seek out the counsel and representation of a qualified and experienced local criminal defense lawyer in Minneapolis.
Judith A. Samson, Attorney at Law, understands what it takes to provide you the most effective defense to the accusation of theft, whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges. Take action now and contact us today; you have no time to waste when seeking out the best defense.
What constitutes theft in Minneapolis?
Generally, a person commits the crime of theft if he or she unlawfully takes and carries away someone else’s property without the consent of the owner and with the intent to deprive the owner of the property permanently. Other key questions when considering theft charges are what kind of property was stolen and how much the property is or was worth.
One important aspect of the crime of theft to remember is that it is different than the crime of robbery. Robbery involves a threat of force, fear, or intimidation and the victim must also be present during the crime. Robbery or burglary and theft are two different crimes.
Nonetheless, if it can be proven that the intent to deprive the owner of his or her property was present, then the crime of theft can be proven. From there, there are different kinds of theft charges that may be brought against you.
What are the different types of theft charges?
Theft charges range from misdemeanors to felonies. This is one reason why it is vital to ensure you have adequate and fair representation in court. Even if there is merit to the charges, the right attorney can often get the charges reduced as well as the resulting penalties.
Judith A. Samson provides a full array of legal services in her role as a criminal defense attorney. She has experience and stands prepared to assist you in regard to any type of theft charge, including:
- Identity theft
- Credit card theft
- Damage to Property
- Theft of a motor vehicle
- Theft by swindle
What are the consequences for different types of theft charges?
Like most states, Minnesota classifies theft offenses by the value of the property or services that were taken. Usually, a higher value results in a more severe consequence, though not always. This is another reason why it is essential to secure the representation of a criminal defense lawyer in Minneapolis.
According to Minnesota legal statutes, the following penalties may be imposed after conviction of theft charges, dependent on the value of the property taken.
- Property valued at less than $500: up to 90 days in jail and/or fines up to $1,000.
- Property valued at $500-$1,000: up to 1 year in jail and/or fines up to $3,000.
- Property valued at more than $5,000: up to 10 years in jail and/or fines up to $20,000.
- Property valued at more than $35,000, or if the property taken was a firearm: up to 20 years in jail and/or fines up to $100,000.
Besides the criminal penalties detailed above, a person who commits theft in Minneapolis is also civilly liable to the owner of the property taken for an amount equal to the value of the property at the time it was taken.
What are some common defenses for theft charges?
Because intent to deprive the owner of his or her property must be proven, there is a range of formidable defenses against theft charges varying from petty theft to grand theft. Without some kind of proof of the intent to deprive, no crime has occurred. There must be an element of dishonesty present, which the prosecution has the burden to prove.
This means that with the right criminal defense attorney, you could be facing lessened charges or get your charges dismissed outright. You could also receive reduced sentencing or be sentenced differently, such as receiving probation instead of time in prison.
If you are being charged with theft, do you need a criminal defense lawyer?
The short answer is, yes. You need a lawyer if you are being charged with theft because it is a very serious offense. You could spend a long time in jail and/or have to pay significant fines. You could also end up with a criminal record that may impact your future chances of securing a well-paying job in the field of your choice, being approved for a mortgage or personal loan, or going back to school to get that degree you’ve always dreamt of.
The time is now to call an experienced and righteous criminal defense lawyer. Understand that time is of the essence. You must have an attorney by your side and in your corner the moment you find yourself facing criminal charges. Judith A. Samson will make herself available to meet with you at your convenience to discuss your case as well as what defense strategies best suit your situation. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation. Judith A. Samson understands how devastating criminal charges can be for you and your family, and will do everything in her power to secure you a fair outcome for your case.
Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.