The crime of theft generally involves a person converting the property belonging to someone else for their own benefit, and it can be treated as a misdemeanor or a felony based on the circumstances. In either situation, the guidance of a Lake County theft lawyer could be invaluable.
It is the state’s job to establish guilt in a theft case beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a burden they are not always ready to meet.. A seasoned criminal defense attorney could help you get the fair outcome you deserve by compiling exculpatory evidence, present a robust defense, and being your voice in court.
There are different types of theft charges under the law. Some of these charges are more serious than others, and that severity is largely based on the value of the goods or services that were allegedly stolen. A Lake County attorney could help defend against petit or grand theft allegations.
The lowest level of theft crime under state law is known as petit theft, which involves the taking of another person’s money or property that is valued at less than $500. This crime is treated as a second-degree misdemeanor and carries as much as one year in jail upon conviction. The charge is upgraded to a second-degree misdemeanor if there are any prior convictions.
Grand theft is the more serious charge of the two and applies to the theft of anything valued at more than $500. These charges are treated as felonies, and at the highest level, a conviction could result in a prison term of up to 25 years.
Robbery, burglary, and carjacking all fall under the umbrella of “theft” and have their own definitions and penalties for conviction.
Securing a favorable outcome in a theft case starts with retaining a skilled lawyer who has the knowledge and resources to build a strong defense against the charge. There are different defense strategies that might be available, and a Lake County theft attorney could provide insight into each of them. Some of those defenses include the following:
Some allegations of theft are actually just misunderstandings. It is not uncommon for a person to face arrest for theft, only to later establish that they had consent to take and use the property in question.
It is up to the prosecutor to build a case strong enough to convict the accused individual of theft. This means proving beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime occurred, and often, the evidence offered by the state is not enough to meet this burden. An attorney could develop a strategy that highlights the weaknesses in the state’s case.
A strong defense in some theft cases stems from a violation of the constitutional rights of the accused. This could involve an unlawful search or seizure that results in evidence the state can use at trial. When constitutional rights are violated, the evidence collected during those illegal searches can be excluded from the trial. This makes for one of the strongest possible defenses in any criminal defense case.
If you have been charged with theft, it is in your best interest to avoid any delay when it comes to hiring legal counsel. The sooner you have an attorney by your side, the better the chances of securing a positive outcome in your case. Let a Lake County theft lawyer serve as your advocate throughout this process – call right away to learn more.
The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys