Theft accusations are classified under state law as either misdemeanors or felonies. The repercussions for these charges can be severe, including fines, loss of individual rights, and even incarceration.
If you need help understanding and fighting your charges, you may benefit from consulting a Junction City theft lawyer. A knowledgeable defense attorney with a thorough understanding of local laws could help you defend your case, potentially avoiding or mitigating the negative repercussions associated with theft accusations.
Theft Laws in Junction City
Under Kansas Statutes § 21-3701, theft is defined as obtaining control of property or services without the owner’s consent, via deception and threat, with the knowledge that it was stolen by someone else.
One person can come into possession of another person’s property through a variety of means. With that in mind, all of the following can be considered theft under state law:
- Identity theft
- Petty theft
- Grand theft
- Grand theft auto
- Theft of services
- Misuse of public funds
When a person faces accusations of theft, a court and the prosecution will often recommend punishments that match the value of the property stolen. An attorney well-versed in theft cases could help an individual craft a defense based on all of the contributing factors in their situation.
Felony and Misdemeanor Theft Charges
Different degrees of theft can be met with different consequences. State courts can charge parties accused of theft with any of the following.
Class A Misdemeanors
Individuals accused of stealing less than $1,500 worth of property can take on Class A misdemeanors. These misdemeanors can result in $2,500 in fines and up to one year in jail.
Severity Level 9 Felonies
Parties accused of stealing between $1,500 and $25,000 can face severity level 9 felonies. Those who have two or more theft convictions on record within five years of their most recent accusations, and parties that allegedly steal firearms also fall into this category.
The consequences that come with a severity level 9 felony include up to 17 months in jail. Fines at this level can also cost the accused up to $100,000.
Severity Level 7 Felonies
Theft accusations involving the loss of property between $25,000 and $100,000 in value are classified as severity level 7 felonies. Defendants facing these charges may face up to 24 months imprisonment and fines not exceeding $100,000.
Severity Level 5 Felonies
Accusations involving property with an overall value of $100,000 or more are categorized as level 5 felonies. Sanctions for these charges can include over 11 years in prison and fines up to $300,000.
The classification of theft charges may be confusing to those facing accusations. A Junction City lawyer could help a defendant better understand the nature of the theft allegations brought against them.
Civil Penalties for Stealing
Those accused of shoplifting may face civil charges. Most courts will only permit a criminal case to crossover into a civil case if it can be proven that the accused caused additional damage to the prosecution’s property after stealing it.
All property that is not returned in sellable condition to a shop, can be punishable by a fine of either twice the product’s retail cost, or $50, whichever is higher, but not exceeding $500. Parties accused of shoplifting may also be held responsible for the cost of a shop owner’s attorney fees and legal expenses under Kansas Statutes §60-3331.
It is worth noting, however, that minors accused of shoplifting may only be charged $50 in total, regardless of the value of a person’s property. The court may deem it appropriate to charge a minor’s parents with any additional civil penalties, should the case call for it. A local attorney could explain the types of civil penalties that an individual may face for theft under the law.
Call a Junction City Theft Attorney Today
You do not have to face theft accusations alone. If you or a loved one are facing allegations and are unsure of what to do next, let a Junction City theft lawyer go to work for you. A seasoned attorney could act as your legal advocate and work to create a strong defense on your behalf. Call today to learn more.