When Does a Theft Change from a Misdemeanor Level Charge to a Felony Level Charge?

Interviewer: What happens when the value of the stolen items is over $1,000? Does it turn from a misdemeanor into a felony charge?

If Stolen Items Are Valued at Over $1000: Grand Theft, Felony of the Fifth Degree

Dale: Yes, it becomes a felony of the fifth degree.

Interviewer: Is it not called petty theft?

Dale: It’s called grand theft.

Interviewer: And grand theft goes from $1,000 up to what dollar amount?

Grand Theft Felonies Are Classified into Levels of F4 to F2

Dale: There are different levels. It goes from an F4 all the way up to F2 depending on the dollar amount. At $100,000 it goes up to the F2 level.

Possible Penalties for a Grand Theft Conviction

Interviewer: What are the possible penalties if you are convicted of grand theft?

Grand Theft Felony Convictions Have Sentences That Include Jail Time

Dale: For grand theft, if it’s an F2, you could spend three to seven in jail.

Interviewer: Even if it’s an F4, fourth degree felony, what are the possible penalties?

Dale: If it’s an F5, you can be sentenced to up to 120 days. It varies. Most often, the people that steal big ticket items usually have more experience in this type of crime.

Why Are Repeat Offenders Most Likely to Be Charged with Grand Theft?

Interviewer: Would you say they are repeat offenders? Are they career criminals?

Dale: They have more experience in stealing things. When someone steals something for the first time, it’s usually not a $5,000 item.

Are Grand Theft Charges Occurring More Frequently?

Interviewer: Do you encounter many cases where people are stealing much larger amounts than $1,000?

Dale: Oh yes, and that would usually involve autos.

Interviewer: Is auto theft a separate class of theft? A theft is a theft?

Dale: Yes, that is how the law looks at it.

Interviewer: It’s the same as grand theft?

Theft of an Automobile Is Classified as Grand Theft Auto

Dale: They call it grand theft auto because it’s grand theft and it involves an automobile.

Interviewer: Do you handle many of those cases?

A Charge of Grand Theft Auto Has Viable Defensive Arguments

Dale: Quite a few. Those can be very confusing because let’s say you let me use your car to go to the store, and then I don’t return for a week. Did I steal it or was I just borrowing it for an extended period of time?

Interviewer: It becomes an issue.

Dale: Yes, it’s definitely an argument.

Interviewer: What would be the reason why someone would borrow it for an entire week when the intent was for a half hour?

Dale: Well, that’s what you say, a half hour. It can be an issue of your word against mine.

Rental Cars and Grand Theft Auto

Interviewer: I’ve heard with rental cars if you don’t return them on time you can be looking at a charge of grand theft. Is that true?

Dale: I would think that would be considered a theft, so yes.

Attorney Naticchia Has Vast Experience in Grand Theft Defense and Has Been Successful in Reducing the Level of Charges

Interviewer: How do you typically approach a grand theft auto case?

Dale: I have never had a case like that where I wasn’t successful in having the charges reduced to a lower level offense.

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