WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL PENALTIES FOR A THEFT CONVICTION?
The potential penalties involved for a theft conviction varies depending on the severity of the crime. Severity is determined by the dollar value of stolen property and whether there is a prior record of theft. A theft charge can result in a misdemeanor or felony offense, and the severity level of the offense largely determines whether fines or jail time will result. For a misdemeanor, the worst outcome possible could be up to one year in jail. However, for a misdemeanor offense, that is pretty uncommon. If it is a felony theft, or when the value of the stolen item is $1,000, then an individual could face a lengthy jail sentence, and fines up to $100,000.
When you are trying to determine how much trouble you are in, you look at severity level of the crime, criminal history and at any aggravating or mitigating factors. Those three things will help determine how much punishment the person will be facing. If the value is $1,000 to $25,000, it is generally considered presumptive probation crime most of the time. If it is $25,000 to $100,000, most of the time those are level seven offenses, and still probation-able crimes depending on someone’s criminal history. When you get to a level five theft, or stolen property valued at over $100,000 that is going to be presumptive imprisonment.
What Is The Impact Of Prior Theft Charges OR Convictions On A Pending Theft Case? If you have a prior history of the same or similar criminal theft offenses, a prosecutor is going to take that into consideration when they make recommendations to the court on what happens to you. If you have multiple theft convictions within a certain amount of time, even what would be known as a misdemeanor theft, could be elevated to a felony. It just depends on your criminal history.
How Does The Civil Portion Of A Theft Case Play Out In Kansas? Any time you ever take anything from anyone that does not belong to you, you open yourself up to a civil case. Anyone can sue in an attempt to recover the loss of their items or stolen property. There are two mechanisms for handling theft offenses. One is through restitution, which is usually for higher level offenses. For example, if you take something from someone and it is $10,000 worth of merchandise, and you end up getting convicted of that crime, then that victim has the opportunity to ask the judge to require that you repay them for the value of the items which they lost.
The judge might reply, “I’m going to put you on probation or I’m going to put you in custody and I’m going to order you to pay this person back $10,000.” If it takes an extended time to pay that money back that can prolong your probation and keep you from getting an expungement as soon as possible. The other way a theft offense may be handled in some cases the law does allows for a certain protocol of a person to recover from a shoplifting case, if it is less than $1,000 without having to go to court and ask for restitution.
Essentially, it is a quick settlement. At the date they allege you stole the item, they are allowed to request that you pay a certain amount of money. If you pay that amount of money, then they cannot sue you at a later time. Usually for low level offenses this is common, there is not a huge amount money involved. So most box stores, and even most individuals, will not sue a person for that small amount of money or item stolen.
For more information on Potential Penalties For Theft Charges, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (913) 451-9500 today.