Theft Lawyers in Cleveland Ready to Help
Legal trouble is always stressful. If you have been arrested and are now facing theft charges, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure about what happens next. As with any type of arrest, theft-related arrests have the potential to derail your life and future. The good news is that you are not alone during this difficult time. With the help of theft lawyers in Cleveland, fighting for the best possible legal outcome doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. Whether you are a first-time offender of grand theft or being accused of stealing someone else’s intellectual property, theft lawyers are ready to fight for you.
What are Common Theft Crimes?
Like most legal areas, theft crimes cover a range of activities under the same umbrella. Theft crimes occur when you take something of value from another person. While most people think of theft as stealing a vehicle from a parking lot or taking money from someone’s wallet, theft is a more legally complex matter. Theft crimes may include the following:
- Embezzlement of funds from an employer
- Receiving products or funds through means of deception or extortion
- Forgery of documents
- Credit card fraud and misuse
- Identity theft
- Insurance and medical fraud
- Receiving stolen items or funds from someone else
Theft cases are often complex and unique to the circumstances of the arrest. Whether arrested for aggravated identity theft or for stealing items from a neighbor’s garage in a burglary, the right legal strategy is a good place to start. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to explain the charges being filed against you.
What are the Possible Consequences of a Theft Conviction?
The penalties for a theft conviction vary widely based on several factors, such as the type of theft charge being filed, the value of the stolen item, and criminal record.
For example, a first-time offender charged with stealing an item of lower property value may be offered a lighter sentence than a repeat offender with a record or a first-time offender charged with stealing something of a higher or more considerable property value. Depending on the specifics of your theft case, you could be faced with penalties such as fines, imprisonment, probation, and community service
Aside from the legal penalties, there are other negative consequences to being convicted for crimes of theft, such as grand larceny, petty theft, shoplifting, theft by deception, or another theft crime. Individuals with theft convictions may struggle to find employment and housing following a conviction.
If a person shares custody of their children with an ex-spouse, they may lose custody or have their visitation rights modified. When you consider all the ways a theft conviction could impact your life, it makes the need for legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense lawyer even more crucial.
Can a Theft Lawyer Help Me?
There are several reasons to consider hiring a theft attorney to represent you in a court of law. For starters, a lawyer will act as your guide and counsel throughout the often-confusing legal system. They will be able to answer questions and explain the best options based on your unique case and the charges lobbied against you. Your lawyer will also fight on your legal behalf to ensure a fair trial while advocating for your best interests. Additionally, an experienced lawyer will be familiar with this type of case and how to best argue for leniency
While there are many ways for a theft lawyer to serve their clients, a main approach is to secure one of two “ideal” outcomes—avoiding a conviction due to lack of proof or reducing the severity of the sentence when avoiding a conviction is not possible. Your theft lawyer will work with you on your case and clearly explain what to expect in terms of possible jail time, fines, and other sentencing matters.
What are the Types of Theft Charges by Ohio Law?
It is important to note that any type of theft is punishable by law in the state of Ohio. While all acts of theft are crimes, the value of the items stolen will determine how the theft is charged in a court of law. Crimes of theft are based on the value of the item stolen rather than the number of items stolen.
For example, stealing one item of higher value is more serious than stealing several items of lesser value. The property value of the items stolen, or the amount of money stolen, will dictate how the theft charge is determined in Ohio.
- Theft misdemeanor. For items valued at less than $1,000, this charge could mean up to 180 days in prison and up to $1,000 in fines
- Theft in the fifth degree. For items valued between $1,000 and $7,500, this charge could mean up to 12 months in jail and up to $2,500 in fines.
- Theft in the fourth degree. For items valued between $7,500 and $150,000 or the theft of a motor vehicle, this charge is also called grand theft auto and may result in up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine.
- Theft in the third degree. For items valued between $150,000 and $750,000 or stealing a firearm, this charge may result in up to 5 years of jail time and $10,000 in fines. This theft charge is also called aggravated theft.
- Theft in the second degree. For theft valued between $750,000 and $1,500,000, this charge may result in 2 to 8 years in jail and $15,000 in fines.
- Theft in the first degree. For theft valued to exceed $1, 500,000, this charge results in a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 11 years in prison if convicted.
Regardless of whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, it is important to seek legal counsel from an experienced theft lawyer sooner rather than later in your case. A lawyer will be able to explain the specifics of the charges and possible outcomes you should expect throughout the sentencing process.
Find Legal Help in Ohio Today
There is no reason to navigate this difficult time on your own. With the help of compassionate and experienced theft lawyers, ensure you have a fighting chance before your case goes before a judge. Legal counsel could be the only thing standing between you and a jail cell. Contact us at 216-208-7858 to see how we may be able to help you through a free consultation.