If you take property that is not yours, you can be charged with theft. This activity includes the misallocation of any property that is in your control but is not permitted for personal use. It also includes taking hold of any property that is stolen.
A Misdemeanor Charge
If you consult with a criminal defense lawyer in Cedar Rapids, IA about a theft charge, you will learn that the seriousness of the charge will be in direct proportion to the stolen property’s value. For example, if the alleged stolen property is under $250, you will typically be facing a fifth-degree theft charge. This is the least serious of theft crimes and therefore is legally categorized as a simple misdemeanor. Serious charges of theft, where the property value is exceptionally high (over $500), are classified as felonies.
Fines and Incarceration
The penalties for a misdemeanor of this type in Iowa consist of jail time and/or fines. Therefore, you need the services of a criminal defense lawyer just as much as you need the help of a legal advocate who is knowledgeable in this area. In these cases, the court can order you to pay a fine from $65 to $625. You may also be incarcerated for a period of 30 days. In Iowa, judges may use their discretion when issuing jail time, a fine, or both.
Third-Degree Aggravated Misdemeanor
You also need to team up with a criminal defense lawyer if you are charged with a fifth-degree theft offense but have prior theft convictions. In this case, the charge escalates to one of a third-degree offense. In Iowa, any theft charge that is classified as a third-degree offense is also classified as aggravated misdemeanor. In this case, you may have to serve two years in prison and/or pay a fine of $625 to $6,250.
Who to Contact About a Theft Charge
In addition to the above repercussions, you may have to pay civil penalties to a retailer if the theft charge involves shoplifting. You can find out more about the charge of theft by contacting such legal firms as Jacobsen, Johnson & Wiezorek LLC by phone or online.