Facing criminal charges of any kind is a serious threat against your future, even if it is what seems like a minor theft charge. If you are facing charges related to any kind of theft, it is in your interests to take your case seriously and seek to build a strong defense strategy. You can start this process by learning more about the charges you are up against.
Theft charges fall into different categories, and the penalties differ according to what specific type of theft charge you face. Regardless, a conviction will leave a permanent mark on your criminal record. Your future interests and opportunities could be at stake, and you will find it beneficial to start exploring the defense options available to you. With the right approach, you can pursue the most beneficial outcome to your case.
Types of theft
There are a few different types of theft. The differences between the categories depend on the type of property involved, what the accused allegedly did to take it and the value of the stolen property. The three main categories include:
- Petty theft -- This is theft involving property that is not extremely valuable, such as something that may cost no more than $1,000. This is a ordinarily a misdemeanor charge, but a conviction can still lead to jail time and fines.
- Grand theft -- This is theft involving more valuable property. It can be either a misdemeanor or felony offense depending on the details of the case, the defendant's criminal history and more. Conviction can result in time behind bars.
- Grand felony theft -- This is theft involving extremely valuable property. A felony conviction always results in incarceration, fines and other penalties.
The specific type of theft charge you are facing will determine the right approach for your defense. If you are unsure of where to begin, it can help to start with a complete evaluation of your case and explanation of the defense options available to you.
Defending your future
When defending against theft charges, you are doing more than trying to keep your record clean. You are protecting your future, your reputation and your personal freedoms. It's critical to take theft charges seriously, whether you are accused of taking inexpensive items from an Illinois retail store or you are accused of stealing a car.
You have the right to a presumption of innocence and to vigorously defend yourself against these accusations. It is helpful to reach out for guidance as soon as possible to learn about how to move forward after an arrest.