Theft can be a misdemeanor or a felony. The penalties for grand larceny in Maryland are serious ones. However, the old common law definitions of theft and larceny have been replaced by a comprehensive law that bases punishment on the value of goods or services that were stolen.
In this blog post, Baltimore theft defense lawyer Randolph Rice gives an overview of the penalties and guidelines for grand larceny in Maryland.
Why Penalties for Grand Larceny Fall Under a New Law in Maryland
Petty theft still referred to as petty larceny in some jurisdictions, involved the stealing of an item or service valued at under $1,000.
Petty theft was a misdemeanor charge. It carried a potential sentence of jail time, community service, fines, and possible restitution to the victim.
Grand theft, or larceny is the historical term for the stealing of goods, items or services valued at more than $1,000. Grand theft is a felony charge, carrying a prison term of up to 20 years for a first offense and other forms of restitution. People on their second or third offense face longer sentences.
Under the 2017 Criminal Code, § 7-104, punishment for theft offenses is linked to the value of the property that’s taken.
Punishment for Theft or Larceny by Monetary Amount in Maryland
Property Worth $1,500 to $25,000
If you steal property or services with a value of at least $1,500 but less than $25,000 you commit a felony. You will face a term of up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
On conviction, the defendant should restore the property to the owner or pay restitution equal to its value.
Property Worth Up to $100,000
Stealing property or services valued at $25,000 to $100,000 is a felony. It attracts a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, a fine not exceeding $15,000 or both.
Property Worth $100,000 or More
Although few defendants come before the courts accused of the larceny of $100,000 or more in goods or services, this offense is codified in Maryland law.
People who commit this felony face up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $25,000 or both. The accused will also be ordered to pay restitution on conviction.
What Theft Crimes Are Misdemeanors in Maryland?
If you steal property, goods, or services valued at under $1,500 you will be charged with a misdemeanor.
The theft of property valued at over $100 but under $1,500 carries a possible prison term of up to 6 months for a first conviction, a maximum fine of $500 or both.
A second offense carries a top prison term of a year and a fine not exceeding $500, or both. The defendant must return the stolen property to the owner or pay for its value.
A defendant who is convicted of the theft of services or property worth under $100 commits a misdemeanor and can be jailed for a maximum of 90 days, fined $500 or both.
As with other crimes, the courts increase the sentences for repeat offenders. A thief who has four or more previous convictions can be imprisoned for 5 years if he or she is convicted of the theft of property or services with a value under $ 1,500 and ordered to pay up to $ 5,000.
Can You Commit Grand Larceny of a Car in Maryland?
Although grand theft auto is a popular video game series, the correct term in Maryland is motor vehicle theft. It is unlawful to remove a motor vehicle from the owner;’s control or custody without permission. The violator faces up to five years in prison for a felony and a fine of up to $5,000.
The Sentence for Failing to Pay for Fuel in Maryland
The legislation also sets out an offense of failing to pay for motor fuel. This applies to someone who fills up gas in their car and drives away without paying. A conviction for failing to pay for motor fuel includes the suspension of the driver’s license as well as the usual provisions under the criminal law.
The Sentence for the Possession of Stolen Property in Maryland
It is a crime into possess property you know was stolen in Maryland. This is relevant whenever there is a reasonable expectation that the person in possession of the property knows or suspects that it might be stolen.
You don’t have to have played a part in the theft of property to be charged with possession of stolen property if you know it was unlawfully obtained.
If a friend gives you a car that you believe was stolen, you can be charged with the possession of stolen property.
The potential sentence for possessing stolen property depends on the value of the property.
What Are the Consequences of a Theft Conviction in Maryland?
Defendants don’t always treat theft offenses with the seriousness they deserve. Felonies have long-lasting consequences and serious that go beyond a fine or time in a cell.
A felony can harm your job and education prospects and be a permanent stain on your record. It’s important to act quickly if you face a theft charge.
Consult an Experienced Maryland Theft Lawyer As Soon as Possible
Theft cases are not always cut and dry. There are many possible defenses. On occasions, a defendant may believe he or she had a right to property. In other cases, parties in a dispute over the ownership of goods are accused of theft.
At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, we defend clients who are charged with a misdemeanor and felony theft. It’s important to contact a seasoned defense lawyer as soon as possible after you have been charged with a crime.
A Maryland theft lawyer can examine your options and draw up the best strategy for your case. Attorney Randolph Rice has a long track record as a prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney in Maryland. Call today at (410) 694-7291.