Examples to Learn From in Sentencing Theft

Published: 05th August 2009
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If you have been accused of a crime, the first thing you want to know before you receive a theft sentence is "What type of punishment will I get?" Each theft sentence varies on a lot of factors. For each theft sentence: the jurisdiction, the state you live in, and other factors will play a role. The value of the goods stolen is a factor and the type of goods/services taken is taken into consideration for each theft sentence.

One of the first things that you have to determine is whether or not it is a misdemeanor or a felony. Each theft sentence is different from person to person. For example, if this is a first time offense and it is a misdemeanor, you should get a minor penalty, through a fine, restitution, or community service. Every now and then, if the victim feels like they have been compensated for their losses, then the judge will dismiss the theft sentence entirely.

Was the crime a petty theft crime? In a theft sentence, the judge will distinguish between grand theft and petty theft by the value of the goods. To qualify as petty theft, then the value of the stolen goods cannot exceed a certain value determined by your state or local laws.

For example, in Arizona if the theft is less than $250, then the criminal will receive a maximum of 6 months in jail, or $2,500, or probation for their theft sentence. It would be considered a misdemeanor. Anything over $250 would be considered a felony.

So what is a misdemeanor you ask? If a crime has the potential punishment for a year or less in jail, then it is a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors can also have fines as a punishment for the theft sentence. Only repeat offenders of misdemeanors receive jail time.

A felony can be possible with each theft sentence if it exceeds a certain value determined by your local and state laws. Anything with a potential of 1 year or more of jail time is considered a felony. Also, any crime that uses force like a robbery is considered a felony.

If you are charged with petty theft or any other theft crime, you have the right to refuse to speak to the police. You also, have the right to an attorney. Any theft crime will become a matter on your permanent record which will affect any theft sentence that you get in the future. Whether it is a felony or misdemeanor, it never goes away.

If you believe you will receive severe penalties, then it will be best to contact a criminal defense attorney.

Before a theft sentence is handed out, a judge will oftentimes use the "3 strike laws". Depending on the state, if a defendant commits a third felony, then he will automatically receive a longer prison sentence. The thief could possibly get 25-years-to-life or a double term. Once again, if you think someone you know or love has committed a felony, it is best to contact a criminal defense attorney so that they can give you the proper strategies that you need.

Before you go anywhere now, learn how sentencing theft can be related to identiy theft. Click here for the best info on medical identity theft.

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