Ohio Theft Lawyer

Ohio Theft Lawyer

“Theft” encompasses a number of different crimes under Ohio law.

  • R.C. 2913.02 : No person, with purpose to deprive the owner of property or services,
  • shall knowingly obtain or exert control over either the property or services in any of the
  • following ways:
    • Without the consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent;
    • Beyond the scope of the express or implied consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent;
    • By deception;
    • By threat;
    • By intimidation.

Charges and penalties in cases of theft are often based on the amount and type of property stolen.

  • Petty thefts, or minor thefts, are misdemeanors of the first degree. These offenses do not include force, or threat of force, and the value of the stolen item is typically less than $1,000.
  • If the amount stolen is more than $1,000 but less than $7,500, it is a felony of the fifth degree.
  • Thefts of amounts between $75,000 and $150,000 are grand theft, a felony of the fourth degree.
  • Thefts of amounts between $150,000 and $750,000 are aggravated theft, a felony of the third degree.
  • Thefts of amounts between $750,000 and $1.5 million, are also considered aggravated theft, now a felony of the second degree.
  • Thefts exceeding $1.5 million are also aggravated theft, now a felony of the first degree.

The severity of the potential penalties for theft also depends upon the identity of the alleged victim.
Ohio law is especially protective of the following classes of people in alleged crimes of theft:

  • The elderly
  • Disabled adult
  • Active service members
  • Spouses of active service members

Use of a firearm or dangerous ordnance may also result in harsher penalties, or elevate the theft crime to robbery, which has severe penalties.

Ohio and other states take theft charges seriously. Offenders may be subject to fines, court costs, or incarceration. Therefore, it is imperative that you have an experienced criminal defense lawyer to advocate for you.

An Ohio theft lawyer can consult with you on the individualized facts and circumstances of your case to formulate a good legal defense to your theft charge.

 

Elements of Proof and Possible Defenses

In order for the State to prove that a person committed a crime of theft, the prosecutor must demonstrate the offender’s specific intent to commit the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. This burden of proof means that the prosecutor must prove their case beyond a doubt based on common sense and ordinary reason.

Under Ohio law, theft may be considered complete once an item is concealed in a pocket or purse, not when the merchandise is actually taken from the store. Therefore, the most common defense to theft charges is lack of criminal intent. An Ohio theft lawyer may use other potential defenses, such as mistake of fact, alibi, ownership of the item in question, entrapment, or duress.

Possible Penalties Upon Conviction

Even in minor theft cases, it is important to obtain representation from an experienced Ohio theft lawyer. Potential penalties of theft are harsh, and may include the following:

  • Fines and costs
  • Probation
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Community service
  • Personal humiliation
  • Loss of job or professional license
  • Jail / Prison

Criminal arrests and convictions always result in criminal records, which are readily available to the general public, including educational institutions, employers, and landlords. A theft conviction (and even an arrest in some cases) may make it difficult, or impossible, to find and keep a job; gain admission to an educational institution, and find a safe place to live in a decent neighborhood.

Talk to an Ohio Theft Lawyer Today

Theft should never be taken lightly. An experienced Ohio theft lawyer can analyze the individualized facts and circumstances of your theft case, and assist you in assembling all the necessary evidence and defenses you need to be successful at trial.

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