Lexington Theft Lawyer

Being accused of theft can affect a person’s reputation as well as their criminal record. Given South Carolina’s strict laws against theft, a strong criminal defense may be key to keeping both those aspects of your life in good standing if you are charged within Lexington, South Carolina. For all theft-related crimes, a Lexington theft lawyer could be your ally and your advocate throughout the entire legal process. Contact a skilled criminal attorney as soon as possible.

Classifying Common Theft Offenses

Lexington theft lawyers know that state theft laws deal with offenses differently based on the value of the money, goods, or services stolen. Petit larceny—a theft of no more than $2,000 worth of goods or services—is considered the lowest level of theft, and is a misdemeanor in Lexington. Petty larceny carries a penalty of up to 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The next level of theft in South Carolina is felony grand larceny. Grand larceny of property valued at between $2,000 and $10,000 is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, at the court’s discretion. Grand larceny of more than $10,000 is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

What is Shoplifting?

Shoplifting is considered petty theft in South Carolina since the value of the goods taken is typically less than $2,000 and carries up to thirty days in jail. However, shoplifting also carries civil penalties. Shoplifters are can be required by the court to repay the shop owners for their merchandise via a process called restitution.

They also must return the property stolen, if possible, and may be ordered to pay a fine in the amount of up to three times the value of the merchandise stolen, but no greater than $500. In certain circumstances, parents of minors accused of shoplifting may be held responsible for their children’s actions if they knew or should have known of the minor’s propensity to shoplift.

Theft and Vehicle Ownership

South Carolina also has a law allowing for confiscation and forfeiture of a vehicle used in the commission of larceny. If a person charged with any type of theft is alleged to have used their vehicle in the crime, that vehicle may potentially be forfeit in the event of a conviction or guilty plea. It may be critical for someone to speak with a Lexington theft lawyer before heading to trial.

Subsequent Theft Offenses

For a third or subsequent property crime offenses, a person could face a felony conviction and up to ten years in prison. In the case of a repeat offender, a judge is more likely to assign harsher penalties, including higher fines and more jail time.

Whether you have previous convictions for theft or this is the first time you have been charged with this type of offense, a Lexington theft lawyer could help you guide you through the criminal defense process and help you prevent self-incrimination.