Arrested for Theft in Maryland? Fight Back With a Tough Defense Lawyer on Your Side
Theft is a general term that encompasses any incident in which someone takes the property of another with the intent to permanently deprive the true owner of that property.
The most common theft offense is shoplifting, however most people accused of shoplifting are not criminals.
In our experience, most people facing these charges made a terrible mistake that they are extremely embarrassed and ashamed by. Sometimes it is poor decision making in the moment. We also find that some clients taking different medications for anxiety or depression find that the side effects can be reduced impulse control, leading to poor decisions like this.
Theft is a consolidated legal term under Maryland Laws (MGA §7–102) That includes shoplifting, larceny, false pretenses, and receiving stolen property. So, for example, Maryland shoplifting laws are the same as theft laws. Penalties directly relate to the cost or value of goods stolen.
Maryland Theft/Shoplifting Penalties
Under Maryland Criminal law, the penalty for a theft charge is related to the value of the goods allegedly stolen. If the value of the stolen property is over $1000, then the crime is a felony. If the value of the property is under $1000, then the crime is a misdemeanor.
In addition to the possibility of jail time, Maryland law requires the property to be restored to the owner or that the owner is compensated for the value of the stolen property, i.e. restitution.
In simple shoplifting or minor theft cases, we always do our best to work to find a solution for minimal or no criminal record so you can get past this incident and move on with your life. We can discuss legal defense options in a consultation.
CRIMES INVOLVING THEFT
|Theft, Less than $100||Maximum of 90 days in jail|
|Theft, Less than $1000||Maximum—18 months; Fine—$1000|
|Theft, Greater than $1000||Felony Charge. Maximum—15 years; Fine—$25,000|
|Theft by Use of Computer Service,
Less than $1000
|Maximum—18 months; Fine—$500|
|Theft by Use of Computer Service,
Greater than $1000
|Maximum—15 years; Fine—$25,000|
|Theft of Motor Vehicle*||Maximum—5 years; Fine—$5,000|
Is Theft of a Motor Vehicle a Lesser Offense Than Theft over $1000?
No. In Motor Vehicle theft cases, under Maryland law (MGA §7–105), you can be alternately charged under MGA §7–104 with a theft valued at more than $1000, and face the maximum penalties of 15 years and a $25,000 fine.
Also, under the Theft of a Motor Vehicle statute, you are required to either return the car or compensate the victim for full replacement value.
Can I Be Charged With Theft If I Found Something or it Was Delivered to me By Mistake?
Yes. Under Maryland law, it is considered a theft if you know an item does not belong to you, and you fail to take reasonable measures to locate the owner.
This could including finding something in a public space, and not making a reasonable effort to locate a lost and found.
If a package was delivered to you by mistake, it would be reasonable for you to contact either the sender or the carrier to notify them of the misdelivery. You can definitely be charged under Maryland theft laws (MGA §7–104 – of the Maryland General Assembly).
Theft Related Offenses
Related to theft which are more serious charges, include:
- Burglary. Burglary is breaking and entering in the house, car, boat, business, etc. of another with the intent of committing a felony therein, usually a theft.
- Robbery. Robbery is taking directly from a person by use of force, threat, or intimidation. A robbery is a theft plus an assault.
Call For a Free Defense Consultation on Maryland Theft or Shoplifting Charges
I will consult with you on any theft, shoplift, or related criminal charges in Maryland in my free legal consultation. If you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime in the state of Maryland, you need help as soon as possible. The first step is to talk to an attorney who handles criminal defense cases every day. I will help you figure out your options and what to do next to protect your right, your freedom, and keep your record clean.
Call me at (888) 452-4344 for a no obligation, criminal defense consultation.