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15 Facts You Need to Know About Theft Crimes in Maryland

Theft Defense Lawyers

Theft is one of the most common criminal charges in the Maryland court system.  If you are facing theft charges in Maryland, it’s important to understand what lies ahead for you; namely, the penalties and what the State must prove to convict you of theft. We’ve compiled a list of 15 facts you need to know about theft crimes in Maryland.

Penalty for Theft in Maryland

Charge Maximum Penalty Classification
Theft Less Than $100 90 days and/or $500 Fine Misdemeanor
Theft Less Than $1000 18 months and/or $500 Fine Misdemeanor
Theft $1000 But Less Than $10,000 10 years and/or $10,000 Fine Felony
Theft $10,00 But Less Than $100,000 15 years and/or $15,000 Fine Felony
Theft $100,00 Or More 25 years and/or $25,000 Fine Felony

It is a crime in Maryland to obtain control over property by willfully or knowingly using deception. This includes lying or misrepresenting yourself or the circumstances to gain access to property that you do not have a right to use. It also covers scenarios where one may abandon or hide property with the intent of taking possession of it, thereby depriving the owner of the property in question.Fact #2 Willful or Knowing Use of Deception

Fact #3 Possessing Stolen Property

It is a crime in Maryland to possess stolen personal property. This applies in any case where there is a reasonable expectation that the person in possession of the property knows or suspects that it may be stolen. It is important to note that possessing stolen property is enough to expose you to theft charges, even if you are not responsible for stealing the property in question.

Fact #4 Lost, Mislaid or Delivered By Mistake

It is a crime in Maryland to take control over property knowing that the property was lost, mislaid, or delivered by mistake. That, combined with the following two factors expose one to a theft charge in Maryland: failure to take reasonable measures to locate the rightful owner or intended recipient of a piece of property, along with the intention to deprive the rightful owner of permanent use or benefit of that property.

Fact #5 Obtaining the Services of Another

It is a crime in Maryland to obtain the services of another that are available only for compensation by deception. For example, accepting money to do a job that you are not capable of completing, or which you do not intend to complete, subjects you to theft charges. It is also a crime to misrepresent yourself to obtain goods or services that you are not entitled to receive.

Fact #6 Penalty for Theft over $1000 but less than $10,000

If you are convicted of theft of property or services with a value of at least $1,000 but less than $10,000, you are subject to up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000 or both. You may also be required to restore the property taken from the owner or pay the owner the value of the property or services. Theft between $1000 and $10,000 is classified as a felony in Maryland.

Fact #7 Penalty for Theft over $10,000 but less than $100,000

If you are convicted of theft between $10,000 and $100,000, you are subject to up to 15 years in prison or up to a $15,000 fine or both. You may also be required to restore the property taken from the owner or pay the owner the value of the property or services. Theft between $10,000 and $100,000 is classified as a felony in Maryland.

Fact #8 Penalty for Theft of $100,000 or more

If you are convicted of theft of $100,000 or more, you are subject to up to 25 years in prison or a fine of up to $25,000 or both. You may also be required to restore the property to the owner or pay the owner the value of the property or services. Theft of $100,000 or more is classified as a felony in Maryland.

Fact #9 Penalty for Theft of less than $1,000

Theft of less than $1,000 is considered a misdemeanor in Maryland. If you are convicted of this, you are subject to up to 18 months in prison or a fine of up to $500 or both. You may also be required to restore the property taken from the owner or pay the owner the value of the property or services.

Fact #10 Penalty for Theft less than $100

If you are convicted of theft of property or services with a value of less than $100 you are subject to up to 90 days in jail or a fine of up to $500 or both. You may also be required to restore the property to the owner or pay the owner the value of the property or services stolen. Theft less than $100 is classified as a misdemeanor in Maryland.

Fact #11 Enhanced Penalties for Theft in Maryland

If you are have two or more prior convictions under the Maryland theft statutes and you are convicted of theft of property or services with a value of less than $1,000 under paragraph you are subject to enhanced penalties. This means that your third theft conviction could result in up to 5 years in prison or a fine of up to $5,000 or both. You may also be required to restore the property taken from the owner or pay the owner the value of the property or services.

Fact #12 The State Must Notify You of Enhanced Penalties

The court may not impose the enhanced penalties discussed in Fact #11 unless the State’s Attorney serves notice to you or your attorney before the acceptance of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere or at least 15 days before trial. The State must notify you at that point that prosecutors will seek the enhanced penalties and list your prior convictions.

Fact #13 Failure to Pay for Motor Fuel

If you are convicted of theft of motor fuel in Maryland or failure to pay for motor fuel after the motor fuel was dispensed into a vehicle, your driver’s license may be suspended. This penalty is listed under § 16-206.1 of the Transportation Article. If it applies, the Motor Vehicle Administration will also be alerted of the violation.

Fact #14 Statute of Limitations for Theft in Maryland

Charges for theft cases between $100 and $1000 must be brought within 2 years of the commission of the crime. In most other misdemeanors in Maryland, the State must charged you within one year from the date of the alleged crime.

Facts #15 – Maryland Theft Statutes

The Maryland theft statues are contained within Maryland Criminal Law Section 7-104.

Maryland Theft Defense Attorney Randolph Rice

If you’ve been charged with a crime in Maryland, contact criminal defense attorney Randolph Rice at 410.288.2900.

Theft Cases in Maryland

  • Grant v. State, 569 A. 2d 1237 – Md: Court of Appeals 1990– We are asked in this appeal to decide whether a defendant may be convicted of storehouse breaking with intent to steal goods in one jurisdiction, when he has previously been convicted of theft by possessing the same stolen goods in another jurisdiction.
  • Stubbs v. State, 956 A. 2d 155 – Md: Court of Appeals 2008 – The case at bar presents the question of whether the 2004 amendments had the unintended consequences of (1) requiring the State to prove that a defendant charged only with theft under $500 stole at least $100 worth of property or services, or (2) limiting the maximum sentence that can be imposed on a defendant convicted of theft under $500 when the evidence presented at trial establishes that the stolen property was worth less than $100

If you have been charged with theft in Maryland and you need a criminal defense attorney to fight for your rights in Court. Contact Attorney Randolph Rice at 410.288.2900 to schedule a free consultation.  You can schedule a free consultation at one of his offices below or click here to email him.

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