Taking someone’s property without their permission is theft, and regardless of the value of the item taken, it is against the law. This can result in serious criminal penalties and consequences that can change the course of your life. If you are facing a theft charge, you would be wise to take your situation seriously and start preparing an adequate defense strategy.

The specific type the theft charge you are facing and the severity of the penalties you are up against depend on the item allegedly stolen and other factors specific to your case. By preparing an adequate defense strategy, you can effectively confront these charges and fight for your future. Your long-term interests are worth fighting for, no matter what type of criminal charge you are up against.

Types of theft charges

There are a few different types of theft charges. Understanding the implications of your charges is the first step in preparing the right type of defense strategy for your situation. Theft is the criminal act of taking property that belongs to another person or party without permission. The main categories of this type of crime depend on the dollar value of the item stolen, and they include:

  • Petty theft – Petty theft is the theft of something with an approximate value of $500 to $1,000. In most cases, petty theft is a misdemeanor offense, and penalties can include fines. There is also the potential for up to six months in jail, but always less than one year.
  • Grand theft – Grand theft is the theft of item that is worth more than $1,000 but the specific amount depends on Missouri law. This can be either a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the details of the individual case. It carries the potential for at least one year in a state prison.
  • Grand felony theft – This is a theft charged reserved for cases involving the theft of something especially valuable. The specific amount is dependent on state laws. Conviction will likely bring a lengthy period of incarceration, fines and possible court-ordered restitution. 

As you can see, even a petty theft charge can leave you with penalties and a blight on your criminal record. It is in your interests to fight back with a thoughtful defense strategy. You can start this process from the time of your arrest by contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney, who can explain all of the defense options available to you.