Penalties for DC Theft Charges

If you are facing a theft charge in DC, you could be facing significant penalties and long-term repercussions. Therefore, it is advisable for you to seek the services of a dedicated theft lawyer right away. An accomplished attorney could fight for you and possibly help you resolve your case favorably if you are looking at penalties for DC theft charges. Call today.

Misdemeanor and Felony Theft Penalties

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 fewer than 180 days in jail along with a term of probation, which is common in a misdemeanor theft case. In a felony theft case, the maximum penalty is ten 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. If a defendant has a prior conviction for crimes other than theft, there is no explicit way that those prior convictions will affect their case, but the government will consider their past criminal history in constructing any offer. If a person has two or more prior convictions for theft, whether those were convictions in D.C. or another jurisdiction, the D.C. statute does impose a specific enhancement which can increase the maximum penalty to 15 years. It also imposes a mandatory minimum prison sentence of one year in jail. The penalties for DC theft charges are severe, which is why a defendant should obtain a dedicated attorney immediately.

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 consequences that typically come along with any felony conviction. A conviction for theft, either a felony or a 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 and that 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.

Common Mistakes 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 person 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.

When someone is facing penalties for DC theft charges, they should consult with an accomplished attorney. A lawyer could protect the defendant’s best interests and advocate for them throughout the legal process.