A charge of theft can be difficult to defend given the nature of the crime. Theft in Indiana is defined as knowingly or intentionally having “unauthorized control” of someone else’s property.
What Does Unauthorized Control Mean?
Under Indiana law, having control of another person’s property is unauthorized if:
- It is without the owner’s consent.
- The property is used in a way not intended by the owner.
- The offender gave the owner a false impression of how he or she will use the property or to acquire it.
- The offender promised something he or she has no intention of doing.
Prosecutors have the option of charging theft defendants with conversion which is a misdemeanor, or theft, which is a felony. If you have been arrested for theft, you need to consult with a theft defense attorney in Indianapolis, IN or click.
Decisions on Charges
There is no distinction made between conversion or theft based on the monetary value of the property. Instead, prosecutors will usually charge a defendant with conversion if they’ve committed a minor offense like shoplifting. However, most of the time, when someone is arrested for theft, prosecutors will use the felony charge of theft, which is why you need to seek advice from a theft defense attorney.
Penalties for Theft
A theft charge is a Class D felony and is punishable by going to prison anywhere from six months to three years and paying a fine of up to $10,000. However, someone charged with theft can have their sentence reduced to the Class A misdemeanor of conversion, unless the defendant was released from parole, prison, or probation for another unrelated felony within the previous three years.
If you are charged with theft, a theft defense attorney in Indianapolis, IN may be able to get the charge reduced if it is your first offense, or if it has been more than three years since your last offense.