Recently the value of a misdemeanor and a felony has changed. I talked to a detective and he said it was a misdemeanor if the value of the item stolen was under $1500 and a felony if it was over $1500. A family member of mine stole some jewelry and his charge is going to be theft by taking but we are unsure if it will be a misdemeanor or a felony .. Please help
The detective is correct (assuming the theft occurred after July 1, 2012).
Mr. Goldberg is correct. However, you never know how the prosecutor will decide to handle the case, including adding other charges such as robbery, to get the case to a felony. Also, the value of things like jewelry are very speculative, and someone can easily claim the value is more than it is. The best thing to do on cases such as this is to be proactive and have an attorney get in front of the case to try and keep it as a misdemeanor.
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DUI / DWI Attorney
Your family member will know at the time of arrest whether the charge is misdemeanor or felony level. This family member will benefit from having an attorney resolve the charges, and the family member should make no admissions if asked questions by the store's detectives or police.
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Criminal Defense Attorney
The answer to this question depends upon (1) whether he is charged with Theft by Taking or Theft by Shoplifting and (2) how many prior convictions he has for theft. If he is charged with Theft by Taking of an item with a value less than $1500, he can be charged with a misdemeanor unless he has two prior convictions for Theft By Taking. If this theft was from a store, the felony value is much less for Theft by Shoplifting ($500). He also may be charged with a felony shoplifting if he has two prior convictions for same. Since the value of the object and the admissiblity of convictions against him are items that can be contested in court, your family member needs to seek the representation of an experience criminal defense attorney.
The detective gave you the correct information. If the alleged theft occurred after July 1, 2012, the value requirement to make a theft by taking a felony has increased. If it was a shoplifting, then the value requirements have changed as well. Once arrested, they will know whether it's a felony or a misdemeanor, but it would definitely be wise to get an attorney involved now.