Were you charged with grand theft? Learn about what this charge is, potential defenses, and how a lawyer can protect your rights and your future.
Grand Theft, Defined
Grand theft is a particular kind of larceny offense. Definitions of grand theft may change according to state or local legislative acts. However, they usually have to do with the dollar amount of property or cash stolen.
For example, the theft of cash or items that are low in value will generally lead to petty theft charges. On the other hand, theft of money or property worth thousands of dollars may lead to grand theft charges, which are more serious. In some cases, grand theft refers to specific larcenies of vehicles, in which case it may called “grand theft auto.”
What Are Some Potential Grand Theft Defenses?
Grand theft charges may be dropped or reduced with a strong defense. In fact, here are a few potential defenses legal counsel may use:
A defense often used for grand theft is that the sum of the cash or property stolen didn’t classify as grand theft. In such instances, the charges may be reduced to less serious misdemeanor charges. This can occur when there are incorrect computations or market values attached to the property when assessing it.
No Criminal Intent
Grand theft requires the individual to have the intention of depriving another person of the cash or property. If the property or cash was accidentally stolen or planted by another person, the charges may be dropped due to lack of intent.
The Property Belonged to the Defendant
A defendant can assert that the allegedly stolen property really belonged to herself. In this case, the “property of another” component of the offense isn’t present, therefore making the charges null and void.
The Defendant was Given the Cash or Property
Another defense is that the person who possessed the the cash or property gave permission or authorization for the defendant to take or use it. If permission was given, no “theft” occurred.
If the defendant was falsely accused or mistakenly identified, it is not necessary to prove the crime didn’t occur. In other words, it means that the person charged is not the person who committed the crime.
What Are Some Punishments for Grand Theft?
Grand theft is usually classified as a felony offense and carry with it jail time, heavy fines and restitution, community service, and a permanent criminal record.
Do I Need An Attorney for Help With Grand Theft Defenses?
As a felony charge, grand theft is a serious and life changing addition to a criminal record. It’s in your best interest to hire an experienced theft defense lawyer when accused of committing grand theft. Contact J. Christopher Llinas today for more information by calling (443) 235-5793.