Facing accusations of taking something that did not belong to you may have been something you experienced since a young age. You might have had siblings who accused you of taking their toys or candy, or you may have even faced such accusations from your parents or other adults. At a young age, you may have already been forced to defend yourself in some way.
Of course, accusations of theft as a child and as an adult differ greatly. Now, if you face charges for theft, the allegations likely come from police officers, and you face the possibility of serious consequences if convicted. Plus, you likely also have to defend against those accusations more stringently than a child.
What is theft?
In order to defend against any criminal charge in a meaningful way, you need to have a full understanding of the charges against you. In cases of theft, officers suspect that you took someone else's property with the intent to permanently keep that property from the other party. In this situation, the element of intent is an important one that prosecutors would have to prove in order for theft charges to apply.
What are the types of theft?
Though theft consists of the two previously mentioned elements, this crime can also fall into two categories depending on the worth of the item or items taken, which are the following:
- Petty theft: This type of charge applies when the property taken is worth less than a certain amount specified by Ohio law. Commonly, authorities consider petty theft a misdemeanor.
- Grand theft: This type of theft charge is the more serious of the two types and falls into the felony category. Grand theft applies if the value of the taken items exceeds the amount set for petty theft charges.
Understanding whether you face a misdemeanor petty theft charge or a felony grand theft charge could play a significant part in how you choose to approach your criminal defense. As a result, you will certainly want to ensure that you understand the allegations brought against you as well as other information that applies to your case and your legal options. You may want to utilize local legal resources to make sure any knowledge you gain is reliable, and working with a criminal defense attorney may also prove wise.