Richland County Theft Lawyer

Allegations of theft typically arise when one person is believed to have illegally seized the property of another person or organization. Depending on the circumstances of the alleged theft, individuals can face either misdemeanor or felony charges, and they will more than likely need help from a Richland County theft lawyer if they want to avoid harsh punishments.

Theft laws can be complex, and they often cover offenses ranging from shoplifting to grand larceny, and each state, including South Carolina, approaches theft in a different manner. Learn more about theft and how it is handled by the courts by reading further, and then contact a skilled theft defense attorney.

Legal Definition of Theft

As most people know, theft involves taking property from another person without their permission. Despite this simple, relatively easy to understand definition of theft, the court will generally decide whether a person will face charges of theft or something else. In most cases, a defendant must have committed the following acts to be charged with theft:

  • The defendant unlawfully took property belonging to someone else
  • The defendant did not have permission from the owner to take the property in question
  • The defendant did not intend to return the property to the owner

The concept of intent is highly important, and the court will seek to prove the defendant engaged in all three of the acts listed above. If the defendant did not engage in these acts, they may need help from a Richland County theft lawyer.

How Are Theft Charges Classified?

When the time to evaluate charges and sentencing arrives, the court will take numerous factors into consideration. The two most important factors will be the type of property that was allegedly taken, and the cost or value of the item or service in question.

Depending on these factors, individuals will face either misdemeanor or felony theft charges.

Petit larceny, also known as petit theft in some jurisdictions, is a charge given to individuals who have taken items or services that are relatively low in value.

Petty larceny is usually a misdemeanor, but depending on the criminal history of the defendant, the court may push for felony charges. Grand larceny, also known as Grand theft in other states, is a far more severe charge reserved for those who take items that are extremely valuable (usually more than $2,000).

Common Defenses to Theft Charges

Depending on the nature of the case, a Richland theft defense lawyer will usually attempt to prove that the individual is not guilty of the charges and accusations. If they are successful, they may be able to get the charges reduced or dismissed. Charges of theft may have to be dropped or reduced if the defendant:

  • Was under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the time of the theft
  • Rightfully owns the property
  • Intended to return the property
  • Did not know they did not have permission to take the property
  • Had permission from the owner to use the property

Contrary to popular belief, everyone charged with theft is not necessarily guilty, and charges and accusations can often arise from misunderstandings.

When to Contact a Richland County Theft Attorney

If you are currently facing charges for theft / larceny, it would be wise to hire a Richland County theft lawyer. A theft conviction can totally uproot your life and leave a lasting impact on your criminal record and ability to find employment.

Fortunately, there are ways to fight back against a theft charge, especially with the right legal approach. Contact a lawyer who has experience today.

Richland County Theft Lawyer