Are you facing charges related to a theft crime in Lexington, KY? Contact the defense team at Suhre & Associates, LLC. We are well-respected criminal defense lawyers, and we know Kentucky criminal law inside and out.
Our Lexington theft crimes lawyers will fight to protect your freedom and future.
We’ll help you understand your rights and begin to devise a strategy to keep a theft conviction off of your criminal record.
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How Suhre & Associates, LLC Can Help If You Have Been Charged with Theft in Lexington, KY
If you’re arrested on suspicion of a theft offense in Lexington, it’s important to take steps to defend yourself. However, keep in mind that what ultimately happens in your case is often dependent on the law firm you hire. At Suhre & Associates, LLC, we pride ourselves on providing excellent client care to everyone we represent.
Our Lexington criminal lawyer has decades of combined experience representing clients across Fayette County and the state of Kentucky. When you hire our team to represent you, you can expect us to:
- Gather and review all evidence, including police reports, security footage
- Ensure the prosecution does not violate your Constitutional rights
- Negotiate with the prosecution to get your charges dropped or lessened
- If the prosecution does not offer a fair enough deal, we will fight them in court
- If the decision goes against you, we will aggressively seek a minimal sentence
Having the right lawyer on your side is crucial to ensure you get the best possible result in your case. The Lexington criminal defense attorneys at Suhre & Associates are known for getting positive results for our clients – charges reduced, cases dismissed, not-guilty verdicts won in court – time and time again.
You are not just a case to us. You are our client, and we treat you like family. We will maintain regular communication with you to keep you apprised of progress on your case, and your questions and concerns are always welcome.
After decades of experience defending clients, we know that the better informed you are on what is happening with your case, the more likely it is that you will be able to provide us with key details that could help strengthen and shore up our defense.
What is Theft Crime in Kentucky?
In the state of Kentucky, theft is a term that covers a large group of crimes involving the taking, possessing, and even disposing of property that rightfully belongs to another person. The crimes vary in terms of severity, sentencing, and circumstances surrounding the charges.
Theft crimes are crimes that reflect on your honesty. So, if you are convicted of a theft offense, your character and trustworthiness will be called into question with your family, friends, employers, neighbors, and others.
A theft conviction can make it difficult for you to get a job because of concerns that you may steal from the office or embezzle from the company.
If you are convicted, even after you have paid the penalty and done the time, the conviction remains on your criminal record. It will follow you for the rest of your life. This is why hiring a law firm that has a solid and demonstrated background in defending those accused of theft crimes is so critical.
The penalties for the different types of theft crimes are dependent on whether the crime is categorized as a petty offense, misdemeanor, or felony.
Shoplifting is when an individual is accused of stealing from a store. Depending on the amount of merchandise stolen, it can be a misdemeanor (under $500), or a felony charge (over $500).
Prosecutors will often tread lightly on first-time offenders and pursue community service and fines. If the accused has a history of theft or the merchandise is significant in value, however, charges can be harsh.
Theft by Deception
There are several instances in which a defendant can be charged with theft by deception.
- Withholding important information in a transaction, which would affect the buyer’s decision.
- Misleading, false information regarding the intention of sale, value of the property, or other misleading information.
- Failure to disclose a lien, adverse claim, or other impediment on property.
- Writing a check with knowledge that funds are unavailable.
Theft by deception, as with all property and service thefts, is punished based on monetary amount.
Theft of Lost Property
Acquiring lost property can also be a theft crime. Finding and keeping an item of value without the intention of returning it to its owner falls into this category. This includes keeping items delivered to the wrong address. Generally, it can be difficult for prosecutors to prove the defendant did not plan on returning the lost property.
Theft by Extortion
The defendant is charged with theft by extortion when accused of using information (blackmail), position of power, intimidation, or other threats to obtain an individual’s property.
Receiving/Possession of Stolen Property
Receiving, possessing, or disposing of another’s property without intent to return to the owner is a crime. Even if you unknowingly bought an item that has been reported stolen, you can still face the charge of possessing stolen property. Items bought at pawn shops, flea markets, on social media, or in the classifieds are at risk of being stolen goods.
Typically, identity theft is a federal crime in which the defendant is accused of using another’s identity. This can include using current or former phone numbers, social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, or other identifying information. There are a number of unlawful reasons for one to use another’s identifying information. These range from opening financial accounts in another individual’s name, using their bank cards, or using their identity when arrested.
Note, trafficking in stolen identities is also a crime under Kentucky state law.
Penalties for a Theft Conviction in Lexington
Penalties for theft vary by the amount of money involved in the case.
- Class A Misdemeanor: Value of the property, service, or check is under $500.
- Class D Felony: Value of the property is more than $500, but less than $10,000.
- Class C Felony: Value of property is $10,000 or greater.
The prosecution will also review the defendant’s criminal history when deciding the harshness of the penalties. When crimes become federal, charge penalties increase significantly.
Defenses in Theft Cases
There are several instances in which charges for possession of property may be explained. For example, if the defendant was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the theft may have been unintentional, as the defendant may have thought the property was theirs to possess.
Other cases of disputable theft charges include:
Assumption of Ownership
Taking property you sincerely thought was yours or that you had permission or another claim to it. “Stealing” property in good faith can be a defense, although you will have to provide legitimate proof that you believed the goods to be yours.
Committing theft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol could mean you did not have the necessary intent to steal. In such a case, if you can demonstrate that you took the property by mistake as a result of intoxication or other mental impairment, you may be able to claim defense.
False allegations or a simple case of mistaken identity can lead to charges for theft. If you can show that you were in another location at the time of the theft and therefore have an alibi, that would be a proper defense to a charge of theft.
Small children are notorious for picking up merchandise and hiding it in their possession. This could be misconstrued as intentional stealing by the defendant. Other examples of accidental theft cases include when a defendant unknowingly buys stolen goods from a pawn shop or flea market and is charged with possession of stolen goods.
Out of Necessity
Although not a technical legal exemption from penalty, the legal system is more empathetic to theft out of necessity. This can include stealing food to feed one’s family, baby items, and other household items.
The Lexington theft crime attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC, will go after these or any other possible defenses available in your case. A less skilled law firm may not always catch the holes and weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. Our legal team knows exactly what to look for and what defense strategy would be the strongest in your case.
We work with you to put together that defense strategy based on the specific circumstances of your situation. We will examine all the evidence, take into consideration your personal account, and build a defense that has the greatest likelihood of getting the charges against you dropped or reduced by the court. We will be tireless in pursuit of that goal, and we will not rest until we have left no stone unturned in identifying the most effective strategy.
Contact a Lexington Theft Crimes Lawyer For a Free Consultation
Don’t think that criminal charges for theft will just disappear if you ignore them. If you’ve been accused of a theft offense, you need to defend yourself – and the time to do that is now. The Lexington theft crime lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC, can help. Visit our criminal defense office in Fayette County to discuss your case and the defense strategies that might work best for your particular situation. Your first case evaluation is free, so call us now.
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Suhre & Associates, LLC – Lexington
333 West Vine Street #212
Lexington, KY 40507