Charges of theft cover a wide range of criminal activity involving taking something that is another person’s property. If you have been charged with theft, it is important to know what you are up against so that you can better deal with the situation. Here are some things to think about when you find yourself charged with theft, and how you should best proceed:
Understand the Charge– When it comes to cases of theft, the charges can range from misdemeanors (shoplifting, petty theft) to felonies (grand theft auto, grand larceny). Because the spectrum of theft charges is so broad, it is important to contact an attorney who can explain the implications of the crime you are charged with and the consequences it can carry if convicted.
Be Prepared to Answer Questions– When you meet with your attorney to discuss your defense, you will need to answer a few questions about the theft charges and the circumstances under which the alleged theft took place. These questions can include the following:
- What is the value of the item(s) you allegedly stole?
- Were you under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the alleged theft?
- Were others involved in a plan to steal the item(s)? How many people, and were any minors involved?
- Were you confronted by a store manager or security guard who tried to reclaim the item(s)?
- Is there a videotape or other recording that shows you stealing the item(s)?
- Do you have any prior criminal history?
You will need to answer all questions as honestly as possible to help the attorney determine how best to proceed with your case.
Understand the Serious Nature of the Charges– You may be charged with a felony even if this is your first offense, depending on what you allegedly stole. If the theft involved an item or items of high value, such as jewelry or a car, you will not receive the same plea bargain as a person who is charged with stealing a significantly less valuable item such as a pack of gum or an article of clothing. Before meeting with your attorney it is also important to understand that even if the charges are dropped or lessened as part of a plea bargain, the incident remains in your criminal record, and it will be extremely unlikely that you will get a plea bargain for a repeat offense.
If you have been charged with theft, contact the law offices of Boulder County Theft Attorney Paul Stuber for a consultation. Paul Stuber has over 25 years’ experience practicing law, and specializes in criminal cases including theft.