Sumter County Theft Lawyer

Many theft crimes are misdemeanors in Sumter County, but there are numerous theft crimes that can be a felony depending on the value and/or nature of the crime.  The severity for a conviction varies greatly and depends on the monetary value associated with the theft. Any person charged with theft should consult with an attorney before making any decisions regarding how to proceed with their case. If you find yourself facing a theft charge, or any related charge, contact a Sumter County theft lawyer to discuss your options. Hiring a seasoned criminal defense attorney may make all the difference in the outcome of your legal matter.

Theft Under $2000

Under South Carolina Code of Laws §16-13-30, the theft of goods, chattels, instruments, or other articles of personality is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $1000 if the value associated with the theft is less than $2000 (misdemeanor charge). Furthermore, a defendant may be civilly liable to repay any damages to the property which was stolen. That is, if a person steals $1,500 worth of property that is unable to be returned, they could owe that amount back to the complainant in addition to the $1000 fine imposed by the court.

Theft Between $2000 and $10,000

If a person commits a theft involving property valued in between the amounts of $2000 and $10,000, the crime becomes punishable by a prison sentence of up to 5 years and a fine not exceeding $2000 (felony charge). Again, a defendant may be civilly liable as well, which would require them to make whole the person from which the property was taken.

Theft Exceeding $10,000

If a defendant is convicted of stealing property valued at more than $10,000, it will generally be treated as a felony and the maximum punishment will be increased to a possible 10 years of imprisonment. Someone facing charges for an alleged theft offense valued over $10,000, may want to seek legal counsel from an aggressive Sumter County theft lawyer immediately. The penalties of such a conviction could be devastating to both a person’s livelihood and future career prospects.

Theft vs Robbery

Robbery is typically defined as the taking of property from a person or in the presence of a person by threat or force. Because force is involved, the penalties for robbery are far greater than mere theft. Robbery without a weapon is a felony punishable by up to fifteen years in a state prison. Robbery with a deadly weapon, also referred to as armed robbery typically carries a minimum mandatory sentence of ten years in prison and a maximum of up to twenty years.


Another related crime in Sumter County is misdemeanor swindling. While quite vague, §16-13-320 defines this crime as overreaching, cheating, or defrauding so that the “ignorant and unwary” lose their money or property. To be convicted, it must be demonstrated that the property loss is directly caused by the deception.  The punishment for this crime is typically a fine equal to twice the amount which was swindled.

Calling a Sumter County Theft Attorney

If you are charged with theft or any property related offense, it is important to contact a Sumter County theft lawyer early on to begin preparing a defense strategy. An attorney may be able to successfully challenge the allegations against you, or negotiate a plea arrangement which lessens the severity of your charge. You do not have to face a criminal charge alone. Call today to learn more about how a Sumter County theft attorney can help you.