Don't Let Theft Ruin Your Life
We are human with human frailties who are never free from temptation or mistake, but you do not have to let a theft charge ruin your life. With experienced representation, you may often be able to avoid a conviction for theft even where defense do not appear strong. For that reason it is extremely
NON-CRIMINAL IMPACTSA conviction for theft can have significant and long lasting consequences beyond even jail time and fines. With a theft on your record, you may find it difficult to find employment or to accept positions. This is particularly in a position where you must handle more or act in a fiduciary capacity. It can impact admissions to institutions of higher learning, employment promotions, or appointments for positions on a board of directors.
CRIMINAL PENALTIESUnder Minnesota statutes 609.52, for any theft with a value below $500, a person can be charged with a misdemeanor offense which is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine.
If the value is between $500 and $1,000 the charge for theft is a gross misdemeanor and with potential sentences of up to one year in jail and $3,000 in fines.
If the value is greater than $1000 , the charge of theft is a felony and carries with it penalties of up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine,
If the value is greater than $5,000 but less than $35,000 or the property is a trade secret or explosive, it is a felony with penalties of up to 10 years in prison with fines reaching $20,000.
If the value of the property or services is more than $35,000 or the property is a firearm, it is a felony offense with potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.
ENHANCEMENT OF CRIMINAL CHARGESPenalties and charges may increase if: (1) the person has been convicted of a prior theft offense within the past five years; (2) the offense includes a reasonably foreseeable risk of bodily harm
CIVIL PENALTIES FOR THEFTBesides the criminal penalties detailed above, a person who commits theft in Minnesota will be civilly liable to the owner of the property for an amount equal to the dollar value of the property at the time it was stolen (i.e. for a shoplifting offense, the retail value of the item in the store). The person is also civilly liable to the owner of the property for punitive damages in the amount of either $50, or no more than 100% of the property’s value, whichever is greater. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 604.14.)
CONCLUSIONA theft offense does not have to ruin your life or damage your future. Often with skilled representation you may be able to avoid the impacts of a conviction even where the defenses are weak through diversion programs or other mitigating factors. You should always retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer .