Mankato Petty Theft Lawyer

There are numerous reasons one may commit petty theft. There are also situations where people find themselves charged or under investigation despite their innocence. Whatever the circumstances, facing theft charges, even petty theft charges, is not something to take lightly. While petty theft sounds like a minor charge, the penalties and subsequent consequences are harsh. 

Knutson + Casey believes that everyone deserves a fair shot at a second chance. When your rights and future are at risk, it’s important to have exceptional legal representation on your side. The Mankato petty theft attorneys at Knutson + Casey have experience handling petty theft cases and provide the legal services and representation you need to pursue a favorable outcome. 

What Is Considered Theft in Mankato, Minnesota?

Theft is an umbrella term that includes multiple crimes, including petty theft. Minnesota law defines theft as:

  • Knowingly taking, using, transferring, concealing, or retaining possession of someone else’s property without permission and with the intent to deprive the owner of that property permanently
  • Taking possession, custody, or title to property or services by knowingly deceiving someone else with false representation
  • Filing a false medical claim
  • Finding lost property and making no reasonable attempt to get the property back to its owner
  • Renting or leasing personal property with no plans to return the property or pay for it
  • Knowingly depriving someone else of lawful charge for cable TV or other telecommunication services
  • Taking or driving a motor vehicle without the owner’s permission

In Minnesota, theft isn’t just about taking something without permission. A key component of theft is intent. There must be an intent to take without permission with no intention of returning it or paying for it. 

What Is Petty Theft, and What Are the Penalties in Minnesota?

Petty theft is used to describe the lowest tier of theft crimes. Petty theft specifically refers to the theft of property under the value of $500. If the property stolen is above the value of $500, that’s a different level of a theft offense.

In Minnesota, petty theft is a misdemeanor and, if convicted, punishable by 90 days in jail and a fine of $1,000. If the property’s value is above $500, but under $1,000, the offense becomes a gross misdemeanor that’s punishable by up to 1 year in prison and a fine of up to $3,000.

Do You Need a Lawyer for Petty Theft Charges in Minnesota?

The term petty theft may give off the impression that the offense is minor and doesn’t require the assistance of a seasoned attorney. However, even a petty theft conviction may have consequences that follow you forever. Misdemeanors still show up on background checks. There are risks to proceeding without an attorney that are important to consider. 

Lack of Legal Knowledge

Having the necessary legal knowledge pertaining to your circumstances is critical in building a strong defense strategy; building a strong defense requires understanding the intricacies of the law and how they apply in favor of the case. The lack of knowledge may place you at a significant disadvantage throughout the legal process leading to less than favorable results. 

Lack of Courtroom Experience

There is more to defending yourself in a courtroom than having an understanding of the law. Understanding the courtroom expectations is also crucial. Numerous steps are involved in criminal cases that are not described in law statutes. Seasoned attorneys don’t just know the law; they know how to execute cases and behave in the courtroom in manners that help them obtain favorable outcomes.

Lack of Impartiality

It’s difficult to remain objective when your future is on the line. However, it’s vital to have a clear head when dealing with criminal charges. It’s necessary to be able to think impartially when considering plea bargains and trial preparation. Attorneys know how to remain impartial to ensure their clients are making well-informed decisions on their own cases.

Uneven Odds

You may have chosen not to have an experienced attorney at your side; however, the State will still have a strong prosecution attorney. Prosecutors are licensed attorneys with substantial experience in prosecuting petty theft cases. Their experience and education may automatically put you at a disadvantage. A prosecutor won’t hesitate to take advantage of your lack of knowledge and courtroom experience to ensure they get a conviction. 

How Retaining an Attorney Helps with Petty Theft Charges

There are many benefits to hiring a seasoned attorney with petty theft experience. They serve as your advocate and may help you even the playing field. 

Evaluate Your Charges

The work of a Mankato petty theft lawyer starts the moment you hire them. Their first step will be to evaluate every aspect of your case carefully. This includes evaluating the circumstances of your arrest and the circumstances surrounding the evidence obtained against you. Their experience and knowledge help them identify any instances in which law enforcement may have violated your civil rights, which they may use in your favor.

Seek to Dismiss

While having charges dropped is not always possible, when it is, a seasoned attorney may get on that right away. As mentioned above, they receive every tiny detail of your case and may find ways to dispute the case built against you.

They Know How to Negotiate

Negotiating plays a huge role in petty theft cases. Most of them don’t go to trial. Instead, the cases are usually resolved with plea bargains. However, this doesn’t mean that the initial plea bargain is reasonable and fair to you. The role of your attorney is to ensure that the terms offered are for your best interest, not the prosecution. 

Contact Our Skilled Mankato Petty Theft Lawyer at Knutson + Casey

Understandably, being charged with petty theft may seem overwhelming, especially if you’ve never faced a criminal charge before. The most important thing to do, for your best interest, is to contact a seasoned and knowledgeable attorney.

The Mankato petty theft attorneys at Knutson + Casey have the skills, resources, and experience necessary to help our clients pursue the best possible results. Our attorneys will work tirelessly to develop the best defense strategy possible to defend you against the charges you face. We have helped thousands of clients across Southern Minnesota, and we want to help you, too. Contact our firm today at (507) 344-8888 or fill out our contact form to learn more about how we can help.