In Indianapolis, Indiana, we’ve found that the majority of people who face theft charges are deemed as “first-time offenders,” meaning that they do not have a prior criminal record. More often than not, they are individuals that are charged with the crime of shoplifting, again, a crime that is normally a first offense. Usually the value of the stolen property is under $750.00 which qualifies the offense as a misdemeanor under Indiana’s theft laws. If you or a loved one is charged with the crime of theft in Indiana, call our office at (317) 743-0771 to speak with an expert defense attorney before it is too late.
What is Theft in Indiana?
In the state of Indiana, theft is defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over property of another person, with the intent to deprive them of its value or use. The threshold for a felony theft charge in Indiana is $750.
Types of Indiana Theft Offenses
Even though Indiana uses simplified legal definitions of theft and conversion, you may be charged using terminology that goes beyond the language of the theft and conversion laws. Here are some common types of theft charges:
- Receiving stolen property
- Misdemeanor theft
- Felony theft
- Writing a bad check
- Auto theft
- Petty theft
- Grand theft
- Credit card theft
As previously stated, in Indiana, any theft under $750 is classified as a misdemeanor. However, it is a Level 6 felony if the value of the property taken in theft is between $750 and $50,000, or if the person has a prior conviction for theft or criminal conversion; 6 mos. to 2 1/2 years in prison, up to a $10,000 fine. The theft crime is a level 5 felony if the value of the property taken is more than $50,000; with a prison sentence of 1 to 6 years as well as fines, and any restitution that is deemed appropriate by the court. With the potential of incarceration in the balance hiring a lawyer that defends against theft charges is good decision to make.
Indiana Theft Conviction Penalties Explained
A theft conviction in Indiana, if either a misdemeanor or a felony comes with some of the following penalties:
Court ordered fees and fines can range from several hundred dollars to many thousands of dollars. The more valuable the property that was stolen, the higher the fine ordered paid by the judge.
Jail or Prison Time
The length of a jail sentence for theft depends on the value of the property. Sentences for a theft conviction in Indiana, range from a few days in jail to up to 6 years in a state prison.
In addition to any fine, an offender that has been convicted of receiving stolen property often has to pay restitution in some form. Restitution is money paid to the legal owners of the stolen goods to compensate them for their loss from the crime.
Community service, is also known as community restitution. Community service is a form of punishment intended to benefit the community that has been harmed by the criminal act. The court often orders offenders to perform community service in addition to or instead of other forms of punishment, such as incarceration, fines, or probation.
There is a good chance that the court may sentence an offender to probation. If and when an offender is sentenced to probation, the court makes very specific terms and rules that MUST be followed. Conditions of probation often include:
- Meeting with a probation officer regularly
- Maintaining employment
- Regular drug and alcohol screening
- School attendance, if appropriate
- Attendance at a drug/alcohol treatment program
- Attendance at mental health/therapy sessions
- Daily check ins with a probation call in number
- Community service
IF an offender violates probation rules, the offender will have to serve the original jail or prison sentence.
Hire an Indiana Theft Defense Attorney
Unfortunately, there are a number of ways and situations that cause people to commit theft. The more serious the action and the value of the item taken, expect for harsher punishments. With punishments stemming from jail time, fines and potential restitution it just makes sense to hire an experienced theft defense attorney. And that is when you call us, the Law Office of Jesse K. Sanchez at (317) 743-0771 for guidance in this time of extreme stress. A criminal conviction could literally change the direction of your life forever, call now.