Theft allegations are serious matters, and a conviction can come with harsh consequences. Although all instances of theft fall under a single statute, the seriousness of a specific charge depends on the nature of the goods involved and their supposed value.
In any situation, it is crucial to work with a persistent attorney who could help you mitigate or avoid serious criminal penalties. At Ruane Attorneys, a Shelton theft lawyer could explain the relevant laws and the possible consequences of a conviction. With legal representation, you could be better prepared to effectively combat the charges against you and protect your rights.
Definition of Larceny under State Law
State law categorizes most instances of theft under the label of larceny. According to Connecticut General Statute § 53a-119, a charge of larceny may result from the following actions:
- Taking a thing that is not one’s property
- Obtaining property through false pretenses
- Extorting others in exchange for goods or money
- Embezzling entrusted property
- Receiving stolen goods
Degrees of Larceny According to the Value of Property
The main differentiating factor in most theft cases is the value of the allegedly stolen property. Under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-125b, larceny in the sixth degree applies to property with a value of $500 or less. This is a class C misdemeanor. Convictions can bring a jail sentence of up to three months or a fine of up to $500.
The most serious theft charges are for larceny in the first degree, which is a class B felony. A conviction could bring a prison sentence of up to 25 years, with a minimum of one year. Anyone facing theft charges should speak to a Shelton attorney to better understand how state law classified instances of alleged larceny.
Defenses Against Larceny Allegations in Shelton
It is critical to remember that there are many legal options for defending against larceny charges, as prosecutors must always prove each element of a charge beyond a reasonable doubt. Our dedicated attorneys could use various defenses to create reasonable doubt in jurors.
The Role of Intent in Theft Cases
One common defense against a larceny charge is to dispute whether a defendant took property with the intent to deprive the owner of its use. Evidence of a planned swap or sale could help to refute theft charges. Similar defenses may be available in cases where a defendant did not realize that the items in question were the product of theft.
Illegal Search or Seizure
A well-practiced lawyer may also analyze and dispute the legality of police work that led to an arrest or seizure of goods. Police need to have reasonable suspicion to stop a person on the street or probable cause to ask a court for a search warrant. A local theft lawyer could help to argue against illegal stops and searches that violate the rights of citizens. If these motions are successful, they may cripple a prosecutor’s case by excluding key evidence.
Contact a Shelton Theft Attorney Immediately
Even seemingly minor theft cases can result in the creation of a criminal record upon conviction or require you to spend time in jail. More serious allegations could lead to a felony conviction that impacts you for the rest of your life.
A Shelton theft lawyer could help you to avoid these outcomes and protect your interests throughout the criminal process. From day one, the legal team at Ruane Attorneys could work to investigate the incident, discover vital evidence, evaluate the legality of police work, and protect your rights while in court. Whether you are looking to enter into a plea deal or want to fight the case at trial, contact our team now to discuss your options.