DC Felony Theft Lawyer

Felony theft is a crime that occurs when someone is accused of taking property belonging to someone else that is worth at least $1,000. For example, taking high priced items belonging to another person such as television sets or jewelry is considered felony theft. When a DC felony theft lawyer takes a new case, the lawyer will review the evidence and begins an independent investigation to talk to witnesses and to find potential video evidence in his or her client’s favor. Once evidence is compiled and witnesses interviewed a theft lawyer in DC will be able to build a defense.

Elements of Felony Theft

There are three elements of felony theft the government must prove and which a felony theft lawyer in DC will seek to disprove. The government must prove that the defendant wrongfully obtained the property of another person with the intention of depriving the other person of the right to the property. To prove the theft was a felony, the government must also prove that the value of the property was $1,000 or more.

If the government fails or forgets to enter evidence proving the value of the property was $1,000 or more, the theft is considered to be a misdemeanor instead of a felony. An example of felony theft is when a housekeeper who has the right to be in someone else’s home takes jewelry out of the master bedroom and brings it home with her so she can wear it and use it for her own purposes.

If the government in this example proves that the housekeeper took the property of the homeowner with the intention to deprive the homeowner of the jewelry and also proves that the jewelry was worth $1,000 or more, the housekeeper will be found guilty of felony theft.

Difference Between Misdemeanor and Felony Theft

The major difference between felony theft and misdemeanor theft is the value of the property that was stolen. To prove felony theft, the government must show that the property was worth $1,000 or more. To prove a misdemeanor theft, the government has to show that the property has some value less than $1,000.

Generally, the value of the property is not an issue in a misdemeanor theft because some value is much easier to prove than a value of $1,000 or more.

Why Are Penalties So Much More Severe For Felony Theft?

The government and the DC Council view the stealing of property more seriously as the value of the property increases. Therefore, as the value of the property increases, the penalties for stealing property also increase. A conviction for misdemeanor theft also referred to as theft in the second degree, meaning the property was proven to have some value, carries a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.

A conviction for felony theft also referred to as theft in the first degree, carries maximum penalties of ten years in prison, a $25,000 fine, or both which means contact with a DC felony theft attorney is imperative.

Benefit of a DC Felony Theft Attorney

It is always beneficial to hire a DC felony theft lawyer who is familiar with how these cases are pursued in the District. A person’s lawyer is able to investigate their case and start negotiating with prosecutors from the very beginning.

If a trial is needed, a DC felony theft lawyer is able to develop a strong defense in an effort to win the person’s case.