Theft Offenses

Theft is a serious crime and being charged with theft can be scary. Theft can be a misdemeanor or felony. In Columbus Ohio, the consequences of theft can include monetary fines and/or time in prison. If you have been charged with a theft offense, contact our criminal defense firm today. We offer free consultations to people charged with theft crimes.

What is a Theft Offense?

Theft is defined as the removal of someone’s property that is capable of being stolen without the consent of the owner; with the intention of depriving the owner of it permanently.

Defenses for Theft Offenses

There are many different defenses that apply to theft cases. Below is a breakdown of the common theft defenses that a good Columbus, Ohio attorney will use to help you fight your theft charges.

  • Ownership of the property: A person accused of theft might have a good defense if their attorney can establish that the accused has reason to believe the property they took was in fact theirs, or they had valid claim to it. This type of theft defense is not easy to establish however, as your criminal defense attorney, Wolfe Legal Services will use this defense if necessary.
  • Intoxication: An intoxication defense is directly aimed at the “intention” portion of theft law. If your Columbus defense attorney can successfully raise the defense you were intoxicated and therefore you took someone’s property without intention, it could end favorably for you.
  • Entrapment: Entrapment is when a law enforcement agent induces a person to commit an offense that he/she would have otherwise been unlikely to commit. In many cases, entrapment is an effective defense that negates criminal liability. For example, the entrapment defense could apply if the intent to steal came from the entrapping person with intention of targeting you for prosecution.
  • Return of property: Typically, return of stolen property is not an effective defense. However, there are certain cases where a Columbus criminal defense attorney can effectively use return of stolen property as a defense. In these cases, the defense attorney argues that the accused intended to return the property and was simply borrowing it temporarily.

Different levels

Ohio classifies theft offenses according to the value of the property stolen. Below you will find information concerning the different level of theft offenses:

  • Petty Theft: In Ohio, petty theft (also referred to as first-degree theft) is when the value of the stolen property is less than $1000. A person convicted of this crime can face jail time up to 180 days, or a fine up to $1000, or both.
  • Felony of the Fifth Degree Theft: In Ohio, a theft offense is a Felony of the Fifth Degree Theft when the value of the stolen property is more than $1000 but less than $7500. A person convicted of this crime can face a prison term of up to 12 months, and a fine up to $2500.
  • Felony of the Fourth Degree Theft: In Ohio, Felony of the Fourth Degree Theft (also referred to as Grand Theft) is when the value of the stolen property is more than $7500 but less than $150,000. A person convicted of this crime can face a prison term of up to 18 months, and a fine up to $5000.
  • Felony of the Third Degree Theft: In Ohio, Felony of the Third Degree Theft (also referred to as Aggravated Theft) is when the value of the stolen property is more than $150,000 but less than $750,000. A person convicted of this crime can face a prison term of up to 5 years, and a fine up to $10,000.
  • Felony of the Second Degree Theft: In Ohio, Felony of the Second Degree Theft (also referred to as Aggravated Theft) is when the value of the stolen property is more than $750,000 but less than $1,500,000. A person convicted of this crime can face a prison term of up to 8 years, and a fine up to $15,000.
  • Felony of the First Degree Theft: In Ohio, when value of the stolen property is more than $1,500,000, the theft offense is considered Felony of the First Degree (also referred to as Aggravated Theft). A person convicted of this crime can face a prison term of up to 11 years, and a fine up to $20,000.

Free Consultation

Blog

Sep
14
You’ve been diligent about your estate planning, and left a sizable chunk of your estate to one of your children. But what happens if your child receives an inheritance, then gets divorced? Will part of the inheritance money go to your child’s… Read More
Sep
5
How do you determine whether you need a revocable trust? A revocable trust is distinguished by the fact that it can be changed or even cancelled by the trust-maker, at any time. A trust also offers flexibility because the trust-maker can choose to tr… Read More