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When you hear the word “theft,” you usually think of something small; perhaps shoplifting or some other petty crime. Maybe you spend a night in jail, pay what you owe, and have a few months of probation. In many cases, theft charges are coupled with other petty crime charges. Crimes like this are usually considered misdemeanors, and sentencing isn’t severe. However, theft is a very broad term, and some forms of theft can even be felonies.
Theft spans a broad spectrum of crimes and can even take a non-physical form, such as identify theft. Some of the more common forms of theft include:
White collar crimes are defined as a nonviolent theft and are usually committed by business or government workers. They can include embezzlement, money laundering, identity theft, and other similar actions. Felony theft, also sometimes referred to as grand theft, is categorized in Minnesota as any theft of more than $1,000.
Many people confuse the terms theft, burglary, and robbery. While they all involve theft, they aren’t the same.
Whether or not a property theft is a misdemeanor or a felony will usually depend on the value of the property. However, in most cases, the nature of the theft or the other actions you committed while attempting the theft will also come into play. For example, if you walk into someone’s yard and steal a bike, you could be charged with trespassing and theft below $500, which are both misdemeanors. But if you were in that same yard at night, holding a crowbar, you could be charged with possession of burglar’s tools, which can be a felony. As you can see, the individual elements of your case will determine how severely you’ll be punished.
Whether you are in Mankato, Austin, or Owatonna, Knutson+Casey can provide exceptional legal representation for clients facing theft charges. We’re experienced in several areas of criminal defense, including theft of all degrees. Whether you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, you need a skilled defense team to represent you and help reduce your charges or have them dismissed. Contact us today to see what we can do for you.