To some people, stealing something small from a store may not seem like a big deal and some kids even treat stealing as a type of rite of passage. This is always a mistake, however, as theft of any item of any value is always a crime under Maryland law. “Petty theft” is a misdemeanor that can be charged if the item or money stolen was worth less than $100. While it is called “petty,” a conviction can mean a $500 fine and/or up to 90 days behind bars.
As the value of stolen property increases, so does the severity of the charges and potential penalties. If the property or assets are worth up to $1,000, the charge is still a misdemeanor but the potential jail sentence increases to 18 months.
Once a person is accused of stealing more than $1,000 worth of property, the stakes escalate significantly. The following are the maximum penalties for felony theft charges:
- Property valued $1,000 to $9,999 – a fine of $10,000 and/or up to 10 years in prison
- Property valued $10,000 to $100,000 – a fine of $15,000 and/or up to 15 years in prison
- Property valued $100,000 or more – a fine of $25,000 and/or up to 25 years in prison
In many home burglaries, it can be easy for jewelry, electronics, and other items stolen to be worth $10,000 or more and, if arrested, suspects can face extended jail time. In addition, many complex embezzlement schemes and corporate fraud schemes can surpass $100,000, which means that all participants may be behind bars for up to 25 years and face costly fines in addition to paying restitution to the victims.
Contact a Baltimore Criminal Defense Attorney for More Information
At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, we represent people facing all types of theft charges from petty theft to serious felonies. We know how to present legal defenses in each individual case to have charges dropped or reduced whenever possible. Please call our office at (410) 694-7291 to discuss your case today.