Theft, also known as stealing, is the taking of another property, without consent, with the intent to deprive the true owner of the property. This crime is a specific intent crime that requires the accused to actually take the property without the intention of returning it; if you only indent to borrow the property for a short period of time and return it, it’s not larceny. Missouri classifies the seriousness of the offense based on the value of the property that was stolen.
Class A Misdemeanor
If the value of the property is less than $500, it is considered a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable up to 1 year in jail and fines up to $5,000 or twice the amount of the offender’s gain (up to $20,000).
Class D Felony
The theft is classified as a Class D Felony if:
(1) a person steals an animal that belongs to another; or
(2) if the offender has two or more theft-related convictions within the previous 10 years.
This offense carries a penalty of up to 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 or twice the amount of the offender’s gain up to $20,000.
Class C Felony
Theft is classified as a Class C Felony if:
(1) the property value is over $500 but less than $25,000; or
(2) taken from the victim; or
(3) a specific type of property (motor vehicle, firearm or a credit card).
Being convicted of a Class C Felony results in imprisonment up to 4 years and fines up to $5,000, or two the amount of the offender’s gain up to $20,000.
Class B Felony
Theft is classified as a Class B Felony when the value of the property stolen is $25,000 or more. Punishment for a Class B Felony is 5-15 years in prison.
Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you evaluate the charges against you and guide you through the options that are available. In some cases, you may be able to get the charges thrown out all together or at the least have your charges reduced.
Contact Howard Haake at (314) 325-9868 or (636) 332-5555 for a free consultation regarding your theft charge and learn what rights and remedies are best for your situation.