Criminal theft in general is comprised of three elements; 1) taking of property or service, 2) without an intention of returning the property or service, and 3) and the item has value. If you have questions about the elements of theft, speak with a Baltimore theft lawyer today.
Stealing property or services in Baltimore can be classified as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the item stolen or the value of the property. If facing theft charges in Baltimore, individuals are advised to seek the help from an experienced Baltimore theft lawyer.
Over the years, the theft statutes have changed in Baltimore as directed by the BaltimoreGeneral Assembly. To keep up with inflation and the value of property, the value determinations for the various theft continue to increase. On October 1, 2017, the legislature once again increased the values for general theft in Baltimore and Baltimore.
While there are a number of various theft charges in Baltimore, this page will cover the following topics and principles (click to jump to the section):
- Theft under $100
- Theft $100 but less than $1,500
- Theft $1500 but less than $25,000
- Theft $25,000 but less than $100,000
- Theft of $100,000 or more
Baltimore, Theft Laws
Baltimore theft laws are the same criminal laws that apply throughout the State of Maryland. While there are local city and county laws that may apply to minor theft crimes, the bulk of the criminal theft charges in Baltimoreare charged under the Maryland Criminal Law Article 7-104. Baltimore theft lawyer Randolph Rice has successfully defended clients charged with theft and shoplifting as well as employee theft for years. Contact his office today to schedule a free consultation.
Why is a Theft Conviction So Harmful to Your Future?
Theft crimes and theft conviction are damaging to a person’s reputation when looking for a job. If a future employer sees a prior theft conviction on a new hire’s record, they are hesitant to trust that employee with money or other responsibilities. This is why theft convictions are so serious and must be avoided at all costs. Make sure you work with a skilled Baltimore theft lawyer to minimize the sentence and penalties for theft if you’ve been charged .
What is Theft Under $100?
Theft under $100 is most commonly charged in shoplifting cases. If an individual has been accused for stealing merchandise or a product that is valued under $100, the police will typically charge this offense. Theft under $100 is classified as a misdemeanor in Maryland. The maximum penalty for theft under $100 is 90 days in jail and/or a $500 fine. In addition, if convicted, some Courts in Maryland will assign probation, either supervised or unsupervised following the conviction.
Baltimore Theft $100 but less than $1,500
If the value of property or services taken from a victim ranges from $100 but less than $1,500, it is likely that a defendant will be charged with this theft offense. If convicted of theft in Baltimore for $100 but less than $1,500, a person is facing a misdemeanor charge. If the case is taken to trial and is found guilty or a defendant pleads guilty, then an individual can be sentenced up to 6 months in jail and/or a $500 fine.
If convicted for a second or subsequent time, the State will file enhanced penalties. If found guilty for a second or subsequent conviction, a person could face up to 1 year in jail and/or a $500 fine. The Court will most likely place a person on probation for a theft conviction in Baltimore. A Baltimore theft lawyer can work with you to reduce or minimize the consequences of a theft conviction. There are defenses to theft, mainly the value and proof of the actual theft. A criminal defense lawyer will be able to present various defenses at trial or to the State’s Attorney.
Baltimore Theft $1,500 but less than $25,000
Theft of property or services that range from $1,500 but less than $25,000 is classified as a felony in Maryland. If charged, tried and convicted of theft $1500 but less than $25,000, you could be facing up to 5 years in jail and/or a $10,000 fine. First time theft charges may not bring an instant conviction. As a first time offender in Maryland may benefit from the entry of a probation before judgment (PBJ) in their matter. The benefits of a PBJ run from not having to tell anyone that you have been convicted to the possibility of expungement after 3 years.
Baltimore, MD Theft $25,000 but less than $100,000
Theft of $25,000 but less than $100,000 is even more serious and is classified as a felony in Maryland. As this is a more serious offense than theft less than $25,000, it is typically charged when it is alleged a vehicle is stolen. As the average cost to replace a vehicle in the United States is $33,560. The penalty for theft $25,000 but less than $100,000 is 10 years in jail and/or a $15,000 fine. A Baltimore theft lawyer can mitigate the penalty for theft by way of a history and reason presentation to the Court. In addition to a theft conviction, the Court will order that that defendant restore or replace the value of the item taken.
Theft of $100,000 or more in Baltimore, Maryland
Theft of $100,000 or more is most commonly charged in Baltimore when there has been an alleged employee theft. This may occur when an employee has access to funds that belong to a business. This crime will also be charged when a person has allegedly taken a large item from another person. Theft of $100,000 or more in Baltimore, MD, is classified as a felony. The penalty for theft of this value is 20 years in jail and/or a $25,000 fine. As most thefts of this value are charged in the Circuit Court, a Judge could order a period of probation to last up to 5 years.
Other Theft Type Crimes in Baltimore, Maryland
While the general theft statutes will be charged anytime someone has taken an item from another. There are similar criminal counts that come with a theft charge. If theft theft occurred by force, then an individual can be charged with robbery or armed robbery, if a weapon was used. Also, theft from a home could be considered a burglary. There are various levels of burglary, depending on where the theft happened. A Baltimore theft lawyer can be helpful in devising a defense to your theft related charges.
Expungement of Theft Charges
Theft charges can be expunged under certain circumstances. If the theft charges were nolle proseui, stet, dismissed or you received an acquittal, then the case can be expunged immediately. A PBJ disposition must wait 3 years from end of probation and a “guilty” finding cannot be expunged until 10 years after the conviction under Maryland Criminal Procedure Article 10-110. If you want to have your record expunged, speak with a Baltimore criminal defense and theft lawyer today. You may be eligible, a lawyer can review your record in the Maryland Judiciary Case Search.
Baltimore Theft Lawyers Here to Help
If you’ve been charged with theft in Baltimore, Maryland, you need to seek the advice of a theft lawyer. At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, they offer free consultations for all new theft charges and clients. There are many ways to beat and defend a theft charge in Baltimore. From lack of evidence to disputing the value of the items taken, theft is not always what it may seem when initially charged.