Theft charges carry serious penalties and have a negative effect on your record if convicted. Employers may feel you are untrustworthy and choose not to hire you, and you may have difficulties getting an education or special licenses. These, in addition to the risk of prison time and fines, are among the many reasons you may need to enlist a strong defense team to combat any charges against you.

A skilled Irmo theft lawyer could help you prepare a defense uniquely designed for your circumstances. You do not need to face charges alone because an accomplished defense attorney could be the resource you need to get the outcome you want.

What is a Theft Crime?

South Carolina Code § 16-13-30 focuses on a variety of crimes and offenses and defines a theft as occurring when an item of value is taken from its owner with the purpose to permanently deprive the owner of it. It does not matter the value of the property for a crime to be considered larceny.

The value of the stolen property can be important in designating the specific level of theft crime. The more the stolen item is worth, the more serious the offense is. Other factors may also impact the level of the offense, including the type of item stolen and from whom it was taken. To know how these factors impact a specific case, it is in the accused’s best interest to consult an educated theft attorney in Irmo for help.

Petit Larceny

Petit larceny, also known as petty theft, is a low-level theft offense but still carries significant penalties and stigma upon conviction. Someone could be convicted of this offense when the property stolen has a value of $2,000 or less. The value of the property is an element of the offense and must be proven at trial. If convicted, the defendant faces up to 30 days in jail as well as a maximum fine of $1,000.

Grand Larceny

When the value of the taken property is high, serious penalties exist. There are two subcategories in grand larceny depending on the value of the items stolen. In the first category, property stolen is valued at above $2,000 but below $10,000. A conviction for this carries a sentence of up to five years in prison and a high fine. If the value of the property exceeds $10,000, the penalty increases to a maximum of ten years along with a fine.

Preparing a Defense against Larceny Charges

The prosecutor will seek to prove each of the essential elements of the crime to achieve a conviction. To attempt to defend the case, a well-versed Irmo theft attorney must investigate the alleged events and utilize appropriate defenses. This might include:

  • Demonstrating the property’s value is less than alleged
  • Showing that the property was properly purchased
  • Presenting reasonable doubt about the truth of the allegations

These are several examples of potential criminal defenses which may apply to a someone’s case, and skilled legal counsel could examine which defenses may be appropriate.

Consult an Irmo Theft Attorney Today

Larceny offenses may result in up to a decade in prison, so it is critical that a strong defense be proffered. No prosecutor should try to convince you to not legally protect yourself, but unfortunately, coercion could happen. If you are feeling intimidated by the prosecution, retaining a fearless defense team could make the difference your case needs.

You have the right to defend your case, and a strong rebuttal may result in a lesser or dropped charge. Contact an experienced Irmo theft lawyer today to get started on your case and inform you about your options.