Being charged with theft in Washington D.C. can lead to heavy fines and some serious jail time.If you are convicted of theft in the first degree you can face fines and a maximum of 10 years in prison if the amount taken exceeds $1,000.
Even second degree theft can get you a maximum of 180 days behind bars. If you have been convicted on 2 prior theft charges then you could be looking at a mandatory minimum of one year and a maximum sentence of 15 years.
In other words, if you are charged with theft, you are going to need an experienced attorney working for you.
Finding the Right Attorney is Essential When Facing Theft Charges
There are several factors that go into finding a good criminal defense attorney. If you have been charged with theft, you want to hire an attorney that has experience with theft cases. Even seemingly simple charges can contain loopholes or angles of defense that only an attorney experienced in that area of law will know.
You also want to look for an attorney that is familiar with the courthouse where your case will be prosecuted and the people who work there. Having someone on your side who knows all the players involved in your case – from the judge who presides to the police officer who arrested you – can be a decided advantage. Conversely, going into your case without someone who knows the players involved can be a daunting task indeed.
Different Kinds of Theft
There are several different kinds of theft that you can be charged with and an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you figure out exactly what you are facing and what your chances of being acquitted are.
Larceny is also what is known as “simple theft.” This covers a wide range of theft, but the monetary amount usually plays a large part in whether or not this is what you are charged with. A good example of this is shoplifting items from a retail or grocery store.
Identity theft is when someone’s identity is stolen and then used to run up debts. For example, someone’s identity can be taken and used to get a credit card in their name. The thief uses the card to buy stuff with no intention of paying the debt, harming the victim’s credit.
Robbery is usually the charge when violence or the threat of violence is used during the theft. If a weapon is used then you can be charged with armed robbery, something that will certainly be used to impose a more robust sentence.
If you feel you have been wrongly accused of theft, you didn’t have intent to commit the crime or you feel you have a right to the property in question, you will want the best defense possible. If you have been charged with theft and you have questions about fighting the charge, contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at the McDaniel Law Group, PLLC for a free consultation about your case.