When many people hear the word "theft,,,," they believe that this is nothing more than the crime of taking another person's property without his or her permission.
However, theft is a broad legal term that covers more than one category. For this reason, if you're charged with this crime, you need to understand exactly what happened.
In a theft case, two questions always come into play:
-- What type of property did the person steal?
-- What is the value of the property?
The answers to these questions help determine the category of the theft charges. For example, there is a big difference between third-degree theft and first-degree theft.
Third degree, for example, could be charged as a misdemeanor. First degree, on the other hand, could be a felony, which could lead to time in prison.
Petty theft is defined as theft of a low value item, such as something worth $1,000 or less. This is a misdemeanor and is considered a minor crime.
Grand theft is much more serious, with this coming into play when the value of the item exceeds the limit for petty theft. This crime is a felony in all states, meaning that the punishment is much more severe than petty theft.
The more you know about the crime of theft the easier it is to understand what will happen to you if you're charged. Since there is more to this than meets the eye, you need to fully understand your legal rights from the start.An attorney can provide the information you need on your legal options.
Source: FindLaw, "Theft Overview," accessed Jan. 26, 2017