DC Felony Theft Lawyer

In general, felony theft in DC is the crime of stealing another person’s property which is worth $1,000 or more. The first couple of steps a DC felony theft lawyer will take when someone is accused of this crime include having a detailed conversation with the client about their version of events and then discussing what kind of evidence the prosecutors may attempt to use to secure a conviction. At that point, an experienced theft lawyer in DC will be able to lay out an investigation strategy to obtain information and witnesses that could challenge the government’s allegations. To learn more or begin building a defense for your case, call and schedule a consultation today.

Elements of Felony Theft

The prosecution must prove the following elements before the accused can be found guilty of felony theft. First, the prosecution must prove that the accused took property that belonged to a person other than the accused. Second, the prosecution must prove the accused took the property intending to steal it and deny the rightful owner of the property. Finally, the prosecution has to prove the property’s value was $1,000 or more. The element of value is what makes the theft either a felony or a misdemeanor.

Felony theft would exist where a person steals a purse from a woman who had placed the purse on a hook, underneath a bar, or at a restaurant. If the contents of the purse, for example a phone, a pair of earrings, a tablet, and cash, total $1,000 or more, the person who stole the purse would be guilty of felony theft, so long as he took the purse with the intention of depriving the woman of the right to her purse. In these instances, the individual would be facing a fine and potential jail time making it imperative a felony theft lawyer in DC is contacted.

Difference Between Misdemeanor and Felony Theft

The distinguishing factor between a felony theft and a misdemeanor theft in D.C. is the value of the property. The prosecution must prove the stolen items have some value, regardless of whether they are trying to prove a felony theft or a misdemeanor theft. If the value of the property is proven to be $1,000 or more, the theft will be considered a felony so long as the other elements are proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  If the government proves that the property has any value at all, the theft will be considered a misdemeanor.

Felony Theft Penalties

The maximum punishment for misdemeanor theft is 180 days in jail, a fine of $1,000, or both. The maximum punishment for felony theft is 10 years in prison, a fine of $25,000, or both meaning it is a very serious offense that warrants attention from an experienced DC theft attorney.

The penalties for felony theft are much more severe than misdemeanor theft because felony theft is viewed as more reprehensible. In other words, as the value of the stolen property increases, the victim whose property was stolen is being deprived of much more.

For example, a victim who had $10 stolen from him is not typically worse off than a victim who had $1,000 worth of property stolen from him. Therefore, the punishment increases as the value of the property stolen from the victim increases.

Benefit of a DC Theft Lawyer

A person can face very serious penalties if convicted of felony theft, including significant fines and lengthy prison sentences.  A DC felony theft lawyer is in the best position to advise an individual about the criminal process and discuss all their options in deciding how to defend their felony theft case. A lawyer can analyze the evidence in order to develop a negotiation strategy to resolve the matter, or prepare an effective strategy to fight the charges at trial.