Have you or someone you love been arrested for a theft crime in Dayton, Ohio?
If so, it’s important to understand that being charged with a theft crime in Montgomery County can have serious consequences. Theft crime convictions can sometimes be as harsh as those for more severe crimes, like sex crimes or domestic violence. If convicted, your potential punishments could include fines, imprisonment or a permanent criminal record.
Of course, before they can convict you, the prosecution must first prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime. As they attempt to do so, it is in your best interest to make their job as challenging as possible. You can do this by hiring a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer.
The experienced attorneys here at Suhre & Associates, LLC have been helping the people of Dayton aggressively defend themselves against theft charges for years. If you are facing criminal charges for the theft of property or services from another party, please contact us at (937) 531-0435.
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Common Dayton Theft Crimes
“Theft crime” is an umbrella term, used to describe numerous different criminal offenses. Some of the most common theft crimes include:
According to section 2913.02 of the Ohio Revised Code, any person who knowingly takes property or services with a value of less than $1,000, under any of the following circumstances, may be charged with petty theft:
- By deception
- By intimidation
- Without the owner’s consent
- Beyond the limits of the owner’s consent
Petty theft is usually punishable as a first-degree misdemeanor. If convicted of a crime of this nature, you could face up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
Section 2913.02 of the Ohio Revised Code continues by stating that any person who knowingly takes property or services valued between $1,000 and $7,500 under those same circumstances may be charged with theft. Theft charges most often lead to fifth-degree felony convictions – which can result in up to one year of prison time and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
Section 2913.02 of the Ohio Revised Code further explains that anyone who steals property or services valued between $7,500 and $150,000 under these circumstances can be charged with grand theft. A standard grand theft criminal charge is usually punishable as a fourth-degree felony. Penalties for fourth-degree felonies can go as high as 18 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
The theft of an automobile or firearm will always be charged as grand theft – regardless of the value of the item. Vehicle thefts are usually punishable as a fourth-degree felony (just like a standard grand theft charge), while firearms thefts are generally punishable as a third-degree felony. Third-degree felonies can result in up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Section 2913.02 of the Ohio Revised Code concludes by saying that an individual who steals property or services valued at more than $150,000 can be charged with aggravated theft. However, the severity of the aggravated theft conviction still depends on the exact value of the stolen items.
Generally speaking, if the property or services were worth between $150,000 and $750,000, it is a third-degree felony. Punishments for third-degree felonies can run as high as five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
If the case involves the theft of items valued between $750,000 and $1,500,000, it is usually a second-degree felony. Crimes of this nature can result in up to eight years in prison and/or a fine of up to $15,000.
For aggravated thefts where the stolen property was worth more than $1,500,000, first-degree felony convictions may be handed out. First-degree felonies come with maximum penalties of 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.
Breaking and Entering
Section 2911.13 of the Ohio Revised Code states that anyone who trespasses in another person’s unoccupied home or business premises with the intent to steal their property may be charged with breaking and entering. This crime is generally punishable as a fifth-degree felony, with maximum penalties of one year in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
According to section 2911.02 of the Ohio Revised Code, an individual who steals property or services under any of the following conditions may be charged with robbery:
- With a deadly weapon in their possession during the commission of the crime
- By inflicting or threatening to inflict physical harm on another person during the commission of the crime
- By using or threatening to use force on another person during the commission of the crime or while fleeing from the scene of the crime
Punishments for robbery charges can vary quite a bit, depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the crime. Generally speaking, however, robbery charges tend to result in first-, second-, or third-degree felony convictions with penalties ranging from one year in prison to 10 years in prison.
Shoplifting in Montgomery County
In the state of Ohio, if a store owner, store employee, or hired security guard suspects that a member of the public has stolen one or more items from the store, they are legally allowed to detain the individual until the police arrive on the scene. In doing so, however, they must follow these rules:
- The store owner or their representatives must have reason to believe that the suspect took an item unlawfully.
- The store owner or their representatives must detain the suspect in or near the store. They cannot take the suspect to an off-site location.
- The store owner or their representatives cannot search the suspect.
- The store owner or their representatives cannot use unnecessary restraints on the suspect.
- The store owner or their representatives can only detain the suspect for a reasonable length of time.
If you have been detained by a store owner and subsequently arrested by the police on suspicion of shoplifting, your defense attorney will check to make sure that all of these rules and regulations have been followed correctly. If the store owner acted unlawfully in detaining you, your lawyer will most likely be able to have your charges reduced or dropped.
Why You Need to Hire an Experienced Dayton Criminal Defense Attorney to Help You Fight Back Against Your Theft Charge
When facing any kind of criminal charge, it is always advantageous to have knowledgeable and experienced legal representation on your side. After all, a good lawyer can be the difference between spending years in prison or having your case dismissed. Let’s take a brief look at a few of the reasons why you should hire an attorney to help you defend yourself against your theft charge:
In arresting, processing, and investigating your alleged theft crime, law enforcement officials must not violate any of your constitutional rights. For instance, if they searched your bag without your consent or without reasonable suspicion, they most likely violated your Fourth Amendment rights. In doing so, they may have caused any evidence gathered during their search to become invalid.
A skilled theft attorney, like those here at Suhre & Associates, should have little trouble getting your charges reduced or your case dismissed if the police have violated your rights in this manner.
Knowledge of the Legal System
The Ohio legal system can be quite confusing – especially if you have never dealt with it in the past. Fortunately, when you work with one of our experienced defense attorneys, it becomes a lot easier to navigate. Having worked within the system every single day for several years, our lawyers know exactly what to expect at every stage in your case.
The uncertainty is one of the toughest parts about being charged with a crime. However, when you can gain a better understanding of the process, that frustration begins to dissipate – allowing you to focus on clearing your name.
While you are in police custody, there is a good chance that the prosecuting attorney will come to you to offer a plea bargain. In other words, they will tell you that if you plead guilty and sign a confession right now, they will make sure that you will only serve X years in prison. Of course, unless you are a trained attorney, you have no way of knowing whether or not the deal is any good.
Our lawyers make deals with prosecuting attorneys on a regular basis, so we know if they are making a fair offer or not. When their deal is insufficient, we have the ability to negotiate with them until it is more reasonable. When the plea bargain is more respectable, we will let you know that it may be worth considering.
Your Montgomery County Criminal Defense Lawyers
Over the years, the experienced attorneys here at Suhre & Associates, LLC have dealt with a wide variety of criminal cases. This has helped us to become experts in everything from DUI defense to theft defense.
We would love to help you clear your name and protect your future if you are currently facing a criminal charge. Simply give us a call or visit our Dayton office to get a free consultation.