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Columbus Theft Attorneys

The Ohio Revised Code defines theft as gaining control or possession of someone else’s property or services in one or more of these ways:

Without the person’s consent, or without the consent of the person authorized to give consent for them, or beyond the person’s consent, either stated or implied (or beyond the consent of the person authorized to give consent for them)

  •  By using deception, or
  •  By using intimidation

Every day in central Ohio people are charged with theft offenses. Theft charges can range from a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail to a first degree felony punishable by 3-11 years in prison.

If you are convicted of a theft offense, additional potential issues include:

  • Maintaining your current employment
  • Licensure issues in some professions
  • Difficulty getting a good job in the future
  • Difficulty and possible denial in immigration and naturalization proceedings
Simply put, if you are convicted of a theft offense, you run the risk of being deemed untrustworthy for the rest of your life, but choosing the right Columbus theft lawyer can make a difference. Therefore, it is critical that you to give your theft charge the level of importance it deserves.

The Columbus theft attorneys with Luftman, Heck and Associates take a thorough examination to all theft cases. First and foremost, we will figure out what mistakes the police or detectives made and what legal issues can be raised on your behalf.

We do this by requesting discovery from the prosecutor. The discovery will generally consist of police reports, additional investigative notes, video surveillance and recorded interviews. As our client, you will receive a copy of everything received from the prosecutor for your review.

Based on the legal weaknesses in the State of Ohio’s case and any other mitigating factors, we will negotiate the best possible plea available with the prosecutor for you to consider in resolving your case.

If your case cannot be resolved satisfactorily with a plea, it would then proceed to a motion hearing (a hearing where the judge issues a ruling on an evidentiary issue) or a trial to the judge or jury, depending on the circumstances.

The second approach taken by the Columbus theft attorneys with LHA is to identify whether you have a substance abuse problem. If so and that was a factor in your commission of the theft offense, we will try to negotiate your admittance into a treatment program in lieu of jail, prison or potentially a conviction in your case.

For nearly ten years, the theft attorneys with LHA have successfully represented theft charges ranging from first-degree misdemeanors to first degree felonies. That extensive previous experience will enable us to better help you.

Contact the Columbus theft attorneys with LHA today!

Need a Skilled Ohio Theft Attorney to Represent You? Contact us.

If you’ve been charged with theft, it’s important to know what you’re up against. If you have any questions left unanswered by this page, or if you need a competent, experienced theft attorney to fight for you in court, please contact us at or via email at advice@columbuscriminalattorney.com.

General Theft

Value of the property or services:

This is a misdemeanor of the first degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A jail sentence of up to 180 days
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $1,000
  • If it was rented property, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair or replacement
  • If it was rental services, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair and lost revenues (together, this has to be equal to or less than the value of the property when you stole it)

This is a felony of the fifth degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A prison term of six months to one year
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $2,500
  • If it was rented property, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair or replacement
  • If it was rental services, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair and lost revenues (together, this has to be equal to or less than the value of the property when you stole it)

This is a felony of the fourth degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A prison term of six to 18 months
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $5,000
  • If it was rented property, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair or replacement
  • If it was rental services, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair and lost revenues (together, this has to be equal to or less than the value of the property when you stole it)

This is a felony of the third degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A prison term of nine months to three years
  • A fine of $5,000 to $10,000
  • If it was rented property, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair or replacement
  • If it was rental services, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair and lost revenues (together, this has to be equal to or less than the value of the property when you stole it)

This is a felony of the second degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A prison term of two to eight years
  • A fine of $7,500 to $15,000
  • If it was rented property, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair or replacement
  • If it was rental services, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair and lost revenues (together, this has to be equal to or less than the value of the property when you stole it)

This is a felony of the first degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A prison term of three to 11 years
  • A fine of $10,000 to $20,000
  • If it was rented property, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair or replacement
  • If it was rental services, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair and lost revenues (together, this has to be equal to or less than the value of the property when you stole it)

Theft from an elderly person or disabled adult

Value of the property or services:

This is a felony of the fifth degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term of six months to one year
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $2,500
  • If it was rented property, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair or replacement
  • If it was rental services, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair and lost revenues (together, this has to be equal to or less than the value of the property when you stole it)
This is a felony of the fourth degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term of six to 18 months
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $5,000
  • If it was rented property, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair or replacement
  • If it was rental services, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair and lost revenues (together, this has to be equal to or less than the value of the property when you stole it)
This is a felony of the third degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term of nine months to three years
  • A fine of $5,000 to $10,000
  • If it was rented property, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair or replacement
  • If it was rental services, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair and lost revenues (together, this has to be equal to or less than the value of the property when you stole it)
This is a felony of the second degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term of two to eight years
  • A fine of $7,500 to $15,000
  • If it was rented property, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair or replacement
  • If it was rental services, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair and lost revenues (together, this has to be equal to or less than the value of the property when you stole it)
This is a felony of the first degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term of three to 11 years
  • A fine of $10,000 to $20,000
  • If it was rented property, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair or replacement
  • If it was rental services, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair and lost revenues (together, this has to be equal to or less than the value of the property when you stole it)

Drugs

This is a felony of the fourth degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A prison term of six to 18 months
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $5,000
This is a felony of the third degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term of nine months to three years
  • A fine of $5,000 to $10,000

Guns

This is a felony of the third degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A jail sentence of nine months to three years
  • A fine of $5,000 to $10,000
  • If it was rented property, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair or replacement
  • If it was rental services, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair and lost revenues (together, this has to be equal to or less than the value of the property when you stole it)
This is a felony of the first degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term of three to 11 years
  • A fine of $10,000 to $20,000
  • If it was rented property, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair or replacement
  • If it was rental services, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair and lost revenues (together, this has to be equal to or less than the value of the property when you stole it)

Miscellaneous

This is a felony of the fourth degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term of six to 18 months
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $5,000
  • If it was rented property, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair or replacement
  • If it was rental services, the judge may order you to pay the cost of repair and lost revenues (together, this has to be equal to or less than the value of the property when you stole it)
This is a felony of the third degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term of nine months to three years
  • A fine of $5,000 to $10,000
This is a felony of the third degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term of nine months to three years
  • A fine of $5,000 to $10,000
Have a question we didn’t answer below? Feel free to email us or call us and we’ll help you out.

If you have never been charged with shoplifting, jail time is rare. For this, you’ll generally face a fine, community control sanctions and/or probation. Each subsequent time you are charged with shoplifting, it increases your chance of receiving jail time, however.

Depending on the amount that is allegedly stolen, theft can also be charged as a felony offense. If you are charged with a felony theft, the likelihood and length of a prison term is based on other things such as the total value you allegedly stole and your prior felony record.

If you are not a citizen of the United States, a theft conviction could have a significant impact on you. It could possibly lead to your deportation, exclusion or denial of naturalization upon a guilty or no contest plea.

A theft conviction will have a serious and potentially lifelong impact on you in many different ways. Any job that you will apply for will likely be able to see the conviction and you will be flagged as untrustworthy.

If you are asked on any job application if you have been charged with a criminal offense, or an offense involving dishonesty, you will likely have to discuss your theft conviction. Bottom line: your ability to get a job can be permanently damaged with a theft conviction.

Possibly. It depends on a couple of different factors. First, are there issues with the evidence? If the prosecutor does not feel they can prove all of the elements of the theft offense you are charged with, they might consider dismissing the charge or reducing it to a lesser, unrelated offense.

Second, if you have not been previously charged, it may be possible to convince the prosecutor that this is truly an out-of-character incident that could irreparably harm your future. The prosecutor may then choose to dismiss the charge upon certain conditions or amend the charge to a lesser, unrelated offense.

While having your case lessened or dismissed is definitely better than being convicted of theft, any employer will likely be able to access information about the case. If asked, you would still have to explain the circumstances during job interviews as well.

To further and fully protect yourself and your record, a motion to seal or expunge the record of your case needs to be filed at the appropriate time after the case is resolved.

If the motion is filed and the judge grants it, all of the information concerning your case should be removed. Your criminal record should then be cleared.

Get In Touch

Contact Us

Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP
580 E Rich St Fl 2
Columbus, OH 43215-5335
advice@columbuscriminalattorney.com

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FAX: (614) 413-2886