Burglary, Shoplifting & Theft Crimes

Criminal Defense Attorney Based in the Cleveland Area

When it comes to theft and related crimes, Ohio takes a very serious stance. In some instances, a burglary offense can be charged as a felony. This can have devastating consequences for the defendant’s personal, professional, and financial future. If you are facing a burglary, shoplifting, or other theft charge, or if you are part of an investigation involving one of these potential charges, it is critical that you speak to a Cleveland theft crime lawyer as soon as possible. Proudly serving people in Cleveland, Akron, and other areas of Cuyahoga County, the Law Firm of A. Dale Naticchia is ready to help investigate your case and to assist you with building a strong defense. Although you may be inclined to speak to the authorities in an attempt to show cooperation and good will, this is probably not in your best interests. Let us put our experience and knowledge to use for you and assist you with resolving this matter smoothly.

Similar to other crimes, burglary, shoplifting, and theft are charged according to degrees that vary depending on the value of the items stolen or attempted to be stolen. This means that stealing even one item can carry serious penalties if the item was of sufficient value.


Ohio has three separate statutes that govern burglary crimes, making this a somewhat complex area of criminal law. Burglary is considered a second-degree felony if the defendant entered an occupied structure with the intent to commit a crime when someone was present or was likely to be present. The charge is elevated to aggravated burglary if the defendant inflicted harm or threatened to inflict harm on another person or possessed a deadly weapon. If the defendant broke into an unoccupied structure with the intent to commit a crime, it is classified as a fifth-degree burglary. As far as penalties, a first-degree burglary carries 3 to 11 years in prison, while a fifth-degree burglary carries 6 to 12 months in prison. Since burglary crimes carry prison sentences regardless of the degree, it is essential to have an experienced theft crime attorney in Cleveland advising you regarding your defense.


In general, theft includes situations in which an individual takes property from another person without authorization, or in which an individual intends to permanently deprive another person of his or her property. Theft in the first degree involves property in excess of $1.5 million, whereas theft in the fifth degree involves items worth between $1,000 and $7,500. There are many varying degrees of theft between these two offenses that carry different monetary penalties and mandatory minimum jail sentences.


Shoplifting is a common crime carried out by many different individuals, especially juveniles. There is a common misconception that shoplifting is not a serious crime, but it can have significant consequences if you are sentenced and the offense goes on your record. Thus, you should still consult a Cleveland theft crime attorney rather than attempting to fight the charge on your own. Ohio does not have a separate law for shoplifting, which means that perpetrators are charged according to the state’s theft laws. This means that your charge and the corresponding sentence will be determined according to the value of the item that you shoplifted.

Although these crimes may seem daunting, there are several possible approaches that you can take to either have the charge dismissed or have the degree reduced. In many theft crime cases, the prosecution may lack sufficient evidence to show that you had the intent to commit an offense inside a structure or that you had the intent to deprive a property owner of his or her possession. Additionally, consent from the owner to take the property or entrapment can sometimes be used as defenses.

Seek Guidance from a Committed Theft Crime Lawyer in Cleveland

At the Law Firm of A. Dale Naticchia, we have handled numerous cases on behalf of Ohio residents, including minors, in Cleveland, Akron, Parma, Bedford, Berea, Rocky River, Garfield Heights, Stow, and Barberton. Whether you simply have questions or you are currently involved in a pending legal matter, we offer a free consultation to assist you with learning about your legal rights and how our team can assist you. To schedule your consultation, call us at 216-520-5297 or contact us online to get started.

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I have always used an attorney for legal matters but this was my 3rd DUI in 6 years and I was in dire need of the best legal representation. I needed someone willing to fight for the best possible outcome for me and my family. Shannon
Dale Naticchia handled my case from beginning to finish. He is highly skilled in the area of DUI’s. He has had so many cases that he is highly knowledgeable about how to deal with the situation as a whole. R Beyer
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