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Theft Charges – What do They Mean for You?

Being charged with theft is a daunting and scary experience. Sentencing for “theft under” (less than $1,000) can be up to 90 days in jail, a fine of up to $500 or both, plus restitution to the victim. Conversely “theft over” (greater then $1,000) is a felony charge carrying significantly steeper penalty. In addition to making the victim whole, this charge carries jail time up to 25 years and fines up to $25,000, or both.

What Constitutes a Theft Charge Anyway?

Theft is outlined in the Maryland Criminal Law statute titles 7-104 through 7-107. General definitions covered in 7-104 include

  • unauthorized control over property, either directly or by deception;
  • possessing stolen property;
  • possessing property that was lost, mis-laid or delivered by mistake;
  • not paying for services;
  • inference of intention (more deception); and
  • failure to pay for fuel after dispensing it.

Motor vehicle theft, addressed in 7-105, is defined as knowingly and willfully taking a motor vehicle out of the owner’s lawful custody, control or use, without the owner’s consent. This all makes sense.

Have you ever heard of newspaper theft? Title 7-106 informs that “a person may not knowingly or willfully obtain or exert control that is unauthorized over newspapers with the intent to prevent another from reading the newspapers.” The penalty for newspaper theft is up to 60 days in jail, a fine of up to $500, or, you both. So be careful and don’t steal your neighbors paper.

And then, in 7-107, we have theft by bad check writing. Representing to someone that you have sufficient funds to pay for something by check when in fact you don’t (i.e., you knew your check would bounce), can get you a theft charge and then depending on the amount of the check that was written varying penalties will apply.

That Sounds Like a Mess, What Can I Do?

Talk to a competent defense attorney. A defense attorney’s job is to consider the facts of your case in comparison with the law in order to secure you the best possible outcome. In order to do that, they need to have good working knowledge of all the facts of your case, the law, and appropriate experience.

1. Advice. An attorney needs to be able to carefully listen to your side of the facts in order to give you a thorough assessment of your case. When you have been accused of a crime, of course you want to hear good news, but what you really need is honest information from an accomplished professional that you can trust.

2. Results. When you hire an attorney, you are seeking results. Criminal cases are not resolved within the confines of a mathematical formula. Understanding that, you need someone who has tried enough cases to reflect a track record of reliable performance. Do they work well with prosecutors, Judges, support staff and investigators? If it comes down to a trial, how do they do with a jury?

Robinson & Associates – How They Can Help

Robinson & Associates is an experienced criminal law firm, representing defendants for over 20 years!

  • They have the experience you need – over 20 years! That is great reassurance when facing serious charges; we can help.
  • Free consultation in a relaxed and pleasant environment to discuss your case.
  • Available 24/7. Evening, weekends, through their website, calls from jail – they’re available any time you need them.

If you are facing theft or other criminal charges,
Contact Robinson & Associates today for an immediate and free consultation – 443-524-7395.

Proudly serving all of Maryland, including Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, Anne Arundel County, Montgomery County, Harford County, and Carroll County.