Theft is illegally taking another’s property without their permission. Theft can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony based on the value of the property. An experienced Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer with The Wieczorek Law Firm can help protect your rights.
How an Experienced Cincinnati Theft Lawyer Can Help
In the United States, you have the presumption of evidence. This means that you cannot be punished for a crime unless the prosecution proves beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed every element of the crime, including that you knowingly took someone else’s property. An experienced theft crimes defense lawyer will work hard to establish the prosecution cannot meet this burden of proof by:
- Examining and cross-examining witnesses
- Collecting and analyzing evidence
- Making legal arguments in your favor
- Creating a defense strategy that is tailored to the specifics of your case
Your lawyer will also work to have your charges dropped or reduced. You can learn more about what you can expect when you hire The Wieczorek Law Firm by contacting us for a free case review.
Common Theft Crimes
Ohio has many different laws regarding theft offenses that you could be charged with, including:
Petty theft is knowingly obtaining or exerting control over property of services belonging to another without their permission when their value is less than $500. This offense is a first-degree misdemeanor.
Theft can be charged when the value of property that is taken without the owner’s consent is more than $500 but less than $5,000. This crime can also be charged when the property stolen was:
- Credit card
- Negotiable instrument
- License plates or stickers for a motor vehicle
- Bank form motor vehicle certificate or title
- Blank form of identification license
This crime is a fifth-degree felony.
Grand theft is the taking of property or services that is valued at $5,000 to $99,999. It is also grand theft to steal a motor vehicle or firearm, regardless of the value. Grand theft is charged as a third- or fourth-degree felony.
Aggravated theft is charged when the property or services in question are valued at $100,000 or more. It is a first-, second-, or third-degree felony, depending on the value of the property.
Receiving Stolen Property
Ohio law makes it illegal to receive, keep, or dispose of property you have reason to believe was stolen. This crime is charged as a first-degree misdemeanor or third-, fourth-, or fifth-degree felony.
Penalties for Ohio Theft and Property Charges
A misdemeanor or felony theft conviction in Ohio can incur significant fines and jail or prison time, in addition to other penalties, including civil penalties, driver’s license suspensions, and/or restitution. Certain penalties may also vary if the offense is committed against an elderly person, the type of offense, and the amount of property stolen. The Ohio standard sentencing guidelines for theft crimes are below.
- Misdemeanor of the First Degree – This degree of a misdemeanor can result in a jail sentence of up to 180 days, and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
- Felony of the Fifth Degree – Penalties for this degree of a felony can include imprisonment from six months to one year and/or fines up to $2,500.
- Felony of the Fourth Degree – This degree of a felony can lead to imprisonment from six to 18 months, and/or fines not exceeding $5,000.
- Felony of the Third Degree – A conviction for offenses in this degree can incur prison sentences from one to five years and/or fines not more than $10,000.
- Felony of the Second Degree – These felony offenses can result in prison sentences from two to eight years, and/or fines not to exceed $15,000.
- Felony of the First Degree – Felony offenses in this degree can lead to imprisonment from three to 10 years and/or fines up to $20,000.
Defenses from a Cincinnati Theft Defense Lawyer
Some common defenses to Cincinnati Theft offenses can include:
- Lack of probable cause: The police didn’t have enough of a reason to arrest the defendant for theft.
- Mistaken identity: Someone else committed the crime.
- Act of duress or necessity: The defendant had no choice but to commit theft. Perhaps someone was threatening to harm them or their family if they didn’t do what they were told.
- Property not stolen: The defendant didn’t actually steal the property. They did not possess the required mens rea (mental culpability) to commit the crime.
- Lack of evidence: There’s not enough evidence that suggests the defendant committed the crime.
An experienced Cincinnati theft defense lawyer can evaluate which defenses will be most effective in your case.
Contact Us for Help Today
If you are facing criminal charges for theft, contact us today for a free case review. To get certain charges sealed from your record, visit our Cincinnati expungement attorney page for more information