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Theft crimes cover a wide variety of offenses, including both minor offenses like shoplifting small value items to much more serious crimes such as burglary. Our law firm is committed to providing residents of Ohio with zealous legal defense counsel during a criminal investigation, plea negotiation, or trial. Cleveland theft crime attorney A. Dale Naticchia has handled theft offenses at all stages of the process, and is not afraid to take a matter to trial to defend his client’s rights if that’s what it takes. With clients residing throughout Cleveland, Akron, and other areas of Cuyahoga County, our diverse and extensive experience helps us provide the most efficient and viable solutions for individuals facing theft crime charges. We are happy to speak with you regardless of what stage your case is at in the legal proceedings.Ohio’s Laws Regarding Theft Crimes
Theft crimes are defined and organized differently in every state. In general, Ohio law defines theft as the unauthorized taking of property when the person taking the property has the intent to permanently deprive the owner of possession of the property. It is illegal to knowingly take or exert control over property without an owner’s consent, or beyond the scope of implied or express consent that the owner originally provided. It is also illegal to use deception or threats of force to obtain consent to take the property. Shoplifting is not listed as a separate crime under Ohio law. Instead, it is treated as a type of theft. A theft crime lawyer in Cleveland can assess whether the offense you’re charged with matches the facts of your case.
There are many different classifications and degrees of theft in Ohio, including both misdemeanors with relatively low penalties and felonies that carry heavy sentences. A misdemeanor of the first degree, for example, involves situations where the property stolen was valued at less than $1,000. The punishment is imprisonment for no more than 180 days along with a fine of less than $1,000. Felony theft in the first degree, also known as aggravated theft, involves situations where the property taken is more than $1.5 million in value. The punishment is a prison term of three to 11 years and a fine of less than $20,000. There are many other classifications between these two categories. Ensuring that you are charged appropriately is a critical step to defending your rights and to mitigating any potential sentencing, and an experienced Cleveland theft crime attorney can help with this.
When it comes to burglary, Ohio generally defines the offense as trespassing with the intent to commit a criminal offense in either an occupied building where someone else is present or in an occupied home when the person who resides there is or is likely to be at home. The charge is elevated to aggravated burglary where other individuals are present in the structure or home and the defendant threatens or injures one of the persons, or has a deadly weapon in his or her possession. Although guns, knives, and crowbars are considered deadly weapons, there are many other objects that could fall into this classification and result in an elevated charge. Similar to the theft laws, charges associated with a burglary offense involve anywhere from 3 months to 11 years’ incarceration and a monetary fine.Defend Your Rights Against a Theft Crime Investigation or Charge
There are many different ways that you can defend against a theft charge, including showing that you had consent from the owner or that you lacked the intent to permanently deprive the owner of his or her property. It is possible to make a mistake when it comes to using or taking another person’s property, or when it comes to interpreting the scope of permission for using someone else’s property. Consent is also a key defense for burglary crimes, where the prosecution must show that you did not have permission or authorization to be on the property or inside the structure. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you investigate your charges and identify all possible defenses that may apply to your situation.Speak with a Seasoned Theft Crime Lawyer in Cleveland
It can be extremely difficult to understand your legal rights when you are part of a criminal investigation or criminal matter. This is even more difficult to navigate when it is your first time facing criminal penalties. Having served clients throughout communities including Cleveland, Akron, Parma, Berea, Rocky River, Bedford, Garfield Heights, Stow, and Barberton, we have reviewed a wide variety of theft crimes cases and have assisted numerous individuals in resolving these issues efficiently and fairly. We provide a free and confidential consultation so that you can learn more about your possible legal options and how we can help you cope with the stress of the situation. To schedule your free consultation call us at 216-520-5297 or contact us online to get started.