Gulf Shores Theft Lawyer
Theft is a serious crime under Alabama state law. Those facing theft or related charges could face stiff penalties if convicted. Facing these charges can be frightening, and the legal process can be confusing. Someone charged with theft may not fully understand their legal rights in court, or may not be aware of the penalties they face if they are convicted.
Anyone charged with theft-related crimes in Gulf Shores should contact a lawyer right away. A Gulf Shores theft lawyer can protect a defendant’s rights in and out of court. If you are facing charges, contact a skilled defense attorney today and learn how they can help you.Defining Theft
According to the law, theft is not simply taking someone else’s property without permission. Under Alabama Code Section, theft requires knowledge of one’s actions. In fact, the legal definition of theft is: “Knowingly obtain[ing] or exert[ing] unauthorized control over the property of another, with intent to deprive the owner of their property.”
As a Gulf Shores theft lawyer can explain, this essentially means knowingly taking someone’s property without the intent of giving it back. The same law states the following actions also constitute theft:
- Knowingly taking someone’s property using deception
- Knowingly taking stolen property from a law enforcement official
- Knowingly taking property from a charitable organization or charity drop box
Alabama provides different penalties for theft charges based on the value of the allegedly stolen property. The law classifies theft crimes in degrees of severity: third-degree, second-degree, and first-degree.
A third-degree theft charge is the least serious under law, while a first-degree charge is the most serious. In fact, a first-degree theft charge is a felony according to the law. Below are the potential penalties for each classification of theft charge:
- First degree: Applicable if the property value exceeds $2,500. Theft of a motor vehicle, regardless of its value, can also result in this charge. This charge can also apply in certain cases of theft conspiracy. This charge is a Class B felony, punishable by between two years (mandatory minimum) and 20 years in prison, and a fine up to $30,000
- Second degree: Applicable if the property value is between $1,500 and $2,500. Theft of a gun, regardless of its value, can also result in this charge. This charge is a Class C felony, punishable by between one year plus one day (mandatory minimum) and 10 years in prison, and a fine up to $15,000 warranting contact with a Gulf Shores theft attorney
- Third degree: Applicable if the property value is between $500 and $1,499. Theft of a credit or debit card, regardless of its value, can also result in this charge. This charge is a Class D felony, punishable by between one year plus one day (mandatory minimum) and 5 years in prison, and a fine up to $7,500
If you are facing theft charges in Gulf Shores, you should contact skilled Gulf Shores theft defense attorneys right away. Hiring a criminal defense attorney is the best step someone can take to avoid criminal conviction.
Skilled lawyers will protect your constitutional rights during trial, and work hard to help you avoid conviction. Contact an experienced Gulf Shores theft lawyer today.