If you find yourself on the wrong side of the law after stealing something, you’re probably wondering a few things. What will they charge you with—a misdemeanor or a felony? And how much time are you looking at for the crime? Going in front of a court and being tried for your crimes is already stressful enough; the last thing you need is uncertainty making things worse. So, when does theft become a felony? That’s what I’m going to clear up for you so you know what type of charges you could be facing.
Most states determine the difference between a misdemeanor theft charge and a felony theft charge, and Indiana is no different. Your intentions for the theft or what you stole don’t determine your charge; what does is the dollar value of what you stole
Indiana has a very clear cutoff of what constitutes a felony theft, and that is a value of $750. If the value of what you have stolen is more than $750, then you are looking at a felony charge. Anything under that amount is only considered a misdemeanor charge.
Now that you know the difference between what makes theft a misdemeanor or felony charge, here’s the serious question: How much time are you looking at serving for your theft charge? Well, if what you stole is $749 or less, then the maximum sentence is one year of jail time. Add just one dollar and steal something valued at $750 or more, and that maximum sentence shoots up to two and a half years.
Now, if you find yourself in a position where you will be charged with felony theft in the Terre Haute area, you need to start figuring out how to make sure you don’t receive that maximum sentence. The best way to avoid sitting in a jail cell for two and a half years over a felony theft charge is to find a quality defense attorney in Terre Haute.
A good criminal defense attorney will work with you to review your case and make sure that, first, your theft is actually a felony and not a misdemeanor and figure out the best way to represent you at trial.
Now, obviously, the best way to avoid a felony theft charge is to never steal anything. But if you’re reading this, either you or someone you know has probably already committed the crime. So, your best bet is to research your situation, prepare, and find a good criminal defense attorney in Terre Haute.