Penalties for DC Theft Charges

What are the penalties associated with a misdemeanor theft charge?

With a misdemeanor theft charge, the maximum penalties are 180 days in jail and a fine of $1,000. The court can also sentence someone to a term of less than 180 days in jail along with a term of probation, which is very common in a misdemeanor theft case. In a felony theft case, the maximum penalty is 10 years in prison if the value of the property, benefits, or services is $1,000 or more, then the maximum fine will be up to $25,000.

What are the long-term implications of a theft conviction?

Any felony conviction immediately and directly impacts several important rights. An individual loses the right to vote, to hold office, to seek certain federal benefits, or to own or possess a firearm. Those are the ramifications that typically come along with any felony conviction. A conviction for theft, either a felony or misdemeanor, also has the ramification of being a crime of moral turpitude, which is a crime showing bad character. Having a theft conviction on someone’s record can greatly inhibit them from pursuing future jobs and career advancement because it simply looks like they are a dishonest person. It is there on their record andthat can be a major obstacle when seeking a job, seeking any advancement in their career, getting a license in certain trades, or obtaining any kind of security clearance because it looks like they are a dishonest person. It becomes difficult to put a theft conviction behind them because it stands out if anyone is looking at their record.

What are common mistakes that individuals make in theft cases?

The most common mistakes individuals make in any kind of criminal case is to sit down for an interview with police officers, discuss their side of the story with the police officers, or make any kind of admissions about their conduct. In many cases the government simply does not have the ability to successfully prosecute a case without the defendant admitting to some or all of the conduct. Sometimes an admission as simple as “Yes I was there” without saying anything more is all the government needs to finally fill in that last piece of the puzzle. Instead of having to prove that this individual is in fact the individual who was present and therefore is the individual who committed the crime, they no longer have to prove it because the individual has just admitted it. The number one mistake that an individual makes in any kind of criminal case, including a theft case, is to sit down to have a conversation with law enforcement and start making any kind of admissions.

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