A criminal charge of felony or misdemeanor larceny is not something you should not take lightly. Being convicted comes with dramatic consequences, and fines and jail time are only the beginning.
A theft conviction could ruin your reputation and your chances of finding a job in the years to come. If you are facing these types of charges, it is vital to hire a reputable Cincinnati theft crime lawyer. Our criminal defense attorneys at Patituce & Associates have decades of experience.
Call us today at 513-657-2440 for a free case review and consultation.
What Is Considered Theft Under Ohio Law?
Ohio’s theft law prohibits anyone from exerting control over or knowingly obtaining another person’s services or property:
- Without the owner’s consent (or the person authorized to give consent)
- Beyond the scope of the implied or express consent of either the owner or a person that was authorized to provide consent, or
- By intimidation, threat, or deception.
The term property includes any property, personal, or real, intangible or tangible, and any license or interest in that particular property. Services can refer to rental services, labor, public utility services, transportation, drink, food, and anything similar.
What Are the Classifications of Theft in Ohio?
Ohio classifies theft offenses based on the “value” of the services or property stolen, the property’s character, or when the victim forms part of a “protected class.” Here is a list of the types of theft offenses in Ohio.
Theft typically includes a first-degree misdemeanor when the services or property stolen is valued at less than $1,000. People that commit petty theft could face a fine of $1,000 and a maximum of 180 days of jail time.
Theft will be charged as a fifth-degree felony under the following circumstances.
- The services or property that are stolen are valued at least $1,000 but under $7,500.
- The stolen services or property is less than $1,000, but the victim is a “protected class,” including active service members or their spouses, a disabled or elderly person.
- The stolen property is a credit card.
Fifth-degree felonies carry prison sentences that range from 6 to 12 months and fines of up to $2,500.
Theft of a dangerous drug is a fourth-degree felony for a first-time offender and a third-degree felony for anyone with a previous felony drug abuse conviction.
When the value of the property/service stolen is between $7,500 – $150,000, it’s considered a grand theft. Grand theft is a felony of the fourth degree that’s punishable by 6 to 18 months in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
Stealing a firearm or dangerous ordinance also qualifies as grand theft. The charge is normally a third-degree felony but will be upgraded to a first-degree felony if the firearm or dangerous ordinance was taken from a federally licensed firearms dealer.
Stealing a motor vehicle is a fourth-degree felony.
Aggravated theft occurs when the value of the stolen property or service is between $150,000 – $750,000, or the property is a firearm or anhydrous ammonia. This is normally a third-degree felony punishable by one to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Aggravated theft is a second-degree felony when the value of the stolen property or service is between $750,000 – $1,500,000. Such an offense is punishable with a prison term ranging from 2 to 8 years and no more than $15,000 in fines.
The offense is a first-degree felony when the value of the stolen property or service exceeds $1,500,000. Such a crime is punishable by 3 to 11 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
What Are the Penalties for Shoplifting in Ohio?
In Ohio, shoplifting is categorized as a first-degree misdemeanor. The potential punishment may include a jail term of up to 6 months, a fine of up to $1,000, and probation for up to 5 years. If the value of the stolen item is over $1,000, the theft charge will be a felony and the potential punishment will be more severe.
In addition to the punishment for being convicted of theft, the affected store may also collect money from you in the form of a “civil recovery” depending on the value of the merchandise stolen from the store or shop.
A theft conviction usually becomes a public record, and this can ruin your reputation. You need to consult with an experienced lawyer when you have been charged with shoplifting or similar theft crimes.
Our lawyers at Patituce & Associates, LLC in Cincinnati are here to protect your legal rights and mount a strong defense on your behalf.
Call Our Expert Cincinnati Theft Crime Lawyers!
A theft conviction can lead to imprisonment and also seriously harm your future employment opportunities and reputation. When you are faced with theft charges in Cincinnati, Ohio, you need an expert lawyer to review the case and help you devise a strategy.
The trusted and reliable attorneys at Patituce & Associates will provide the assistance you need. We will fight to help you either beat the charges or minimize the penalties through a diversion program or plea deal. Our team has over 70 years of combined legal experience.