Springfield, MO Theft Lawyer

Theft Crime Information: State Law

Theft can include shoplifting a small item in a shop all the way up to stealing property worth millions of dollars. The main factors that make it theft are that the property belonged to someone else, and if the intention was to keep the property from the owner permanently. If both of these can be proven, a conviction is likely. Engaging a Springfield, MO criminal defense attorney at the firm is a critical step to take in preparing a strong defense.

Misdemeanor to Felony Charges

Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony will primarily be determined by what was allegedly taken and its monetary value. Stolen property valued under $500 will usually be charged as a Class A misdemeanor.

Class C Felony

A Class C felony will be charged if the value of the property is $500 or more, but less than $25,000. Certain items as described in law are considered a Class C felony regardless of value such as a credit card, firearm, motor vehicle or certain documents. Penalty for a Class C felony is penalized by one to seven years in prison and a fine of no more than $5,000, or an amount of double or less the value of the property taken or gain received by the offender.

Class B Felony

If the value of the property exceeds $25,000 the charge is a Class B felony and carries a prison term from five to 15 years. It is possible for a charge to be enhanced based on other factors involved, such as violence in a robbery or property damage in a burglary.

There are many ways to approach the defense of a case and they all depend on its unique circumstances. No two cases are alike and the history of the person charged with the crime can also affect the strategy used by his attorney. If it can be proven that the defendant believed that he/she owned the property it will significantly change things. Another possible defense is that the accused was only borrowing the property.

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