Columbia Theft Penalties

It can be extremely shocking to be accused of committing a theft offense. Immediately, a person may be concerned about what could happen to them legally and desire to understand all the potential Columbia theft penalties. Someone who has been charged with a theft offense should contact an aggressive theft lawyer. An attorney could examine the factors surrounding your case and fight to refute the charge. Call and arrange for legal consultation as soon as possible.

Possible Legal Consequences

Legal consequences often depend upon the type of theft charge. A misdemeanor shoplifting charge that is a first-time offense could be penalized by up to 30 days in jail. It is considered petit larceny if the value of the goods that are stolen is under $2,000 and a conviction for such an offense typically carries a penalty of up to 30 days in jail. However, legal consequences for a grand larceny charge are generally significantly more severe. When the value of the item is above $2,000 but below $10,000, it is considered a felony, and a conviction carries up to five years in prison as the maximum sentence. A theft offense of any property that is valued over $10,000 is generally charged as a felony. A person convicted of this offense may incur a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

As the value of the alleged theft increases, the more stiff Columbia theft penalties become. Without legal representation from a seasoned theft attorney, a person charged with any type of theft offense could risk incurring significant penalties. Additionally, a felony conviction could create a scarlet letter effect. An individual convicted of a felony theft offense will have a permanent criminal record that is accessible to the public. As a result, they could face increased difficulty finding gainful employment. Furthermore, the conviction could prevent a person from eligibility to obtain housing assistance or other types of financial aid.

Mitigating Factors

In every case, a person has a Sixth Amendment constitutional right to a jury trial. An accused person typically gets to decide if they want to take the case to a jury trial. However, some cases do not proceed to a trial. Instead, some individuals may choose to attempt to resolve their legal issues through a plea negotiation. When someone pleads guilty and they have no prior record, especially when there are other mitigating factors, it could make them a strong candidate for a probationary sentence. Theft cases where there are mitigating factors and the charged person has a minimal prior record could also be eligible for receiving probation. It is important to understand that while a probationary sentence may be possible, it is not always guaranteed. Before accepting any type of deal, a person should reach out to a competent theft attorney who understands the potential penalties for theft in Columbia.

Consulting an Attorney About Theft Penalties in Columbia

If you have been charged with a theft offense, contact a hard-working theft attorney who could fight for your freedom. A lawyer who is well-versed theft cases could help an accused person identify their legal options and help inform them about possible Columbia theft penalties. The legal consequences of a theft charge can become steep very quickly. Call an attorney who could begin developing a credible defense for you.