Stratford Theft Lawyer
If you are currently facing theft charges, you may need to act quickly if you want your case to resolve in a positive way. Stratford courts take theft very seriously, and those convicted on theft charges can face a variety of legal penalties that may prevent them from living a normal life.
There are many types of theft charges, and it is possible to spend decades behind bars if you have prior convictions or if you are convicted of stealing high-value items. In order to fully understand your charges and effectively fight back in court, you may need the help of a Stratford theft lawyer. Contact an experienced lawyer today to get started on your case.
Types of Theft Charges
Theft involves taking the property of another person without their permission in some way. This is a relatively universal definition, but many states, including Connecticut, use the term larceny to refer to theft crimes as well. Stratford law enforcement may levy larceny charges when a person takes property without the permission of the owner, whether by way of shoplifting, auto theft, or any other method.
If a person trespasses on a property to take an item without the permission of the owner, they can be charged with burglary even if they do not ultimately take anything of value. Both larceny and burglary are serious charges, each of which may warrant harsher sentences in the eyes of the law in Stratford if the accused party used a weapon or any other form of intimidation in the process. When calculating sentences, the court takes the value of the item into account as well as the manner in which it was obtained.
Petit vs. Grand Theft Charges
The consequences of a theft charge can range from community service and legal fines to years behind bars for more severe cases of theft or burglary. Individuals who have prior criminal convictions will usually face more severe sentences if they are convicted of theft. A qualified theft attorney in Stratford could go into further detail about the specific increases in penalties that various extenuating circumstances can produce.
The law places theft charges into one of two categories: petty or grand. Individuals accused of taking property worth less than $500 may be charged with petty theft, which is a misdemeanor charge in Stratford. Individuals charged with taking property valued at more than $500 may face grand theft charges, with a maximum potential sentence of up to 30 years in prison upon conviction if the value of the property exceeds $20,000.
Importance of Establishing Intent
In a Stratford theft case, the prosecutor is tasked with proving the defendant is guilty of theft beyond a reasonable doubt. To do this, they need to prove that the defendant acted with intent and planned to never return the allegedly stolen property.
For this reason, it is often important for accused individuals to hire the right Stratford theft attorney, especially since the prosecutor will have access to evidence collected by law enforcement. Citizens can be charged with theft if they take:
- Money, credit cards or checks
- Real estate
- Personal property
- Labor or services
Other types of theft, such as identity theft, involve using the personal information of another person without their permission to obtain property or services.
Speak With a Stratford Theft Lawyer
No one should attempt to fight theft charges alone, and with an experienced lawyer on your side, you may be able to even the playing field in court. A seasoned attorney could provide you with the guidance you need to defend yourself and your best interests, and they could diligently challenge the evidence and arguments of the prosecutor as much as the situation allows. Learn more about your rights and potential legal options by speaking with a Stratford theft lawyer today.