Unauthorized use of property is a theft crime that involves knowingly using the property of someone else without their consent. It usually applies to computer, cable, and telecommunication property.
There are a number of scenarios that can lead to someone being charged with unauthorized use of property. Maybe it was a misunderstanding and you thought the owner consented or perhaps you were mistaken for someone else. While any criminal charge is serious, there are ways to reduce, dismiss, or clear your name. Your best chance at dealing with these accusations is to reach out to the highly experienced Columbus theft lawyers of LHA at (614) 500-3836.
We offer 100% free initial consults, where you can discuss what happened and what to do next. Contact LHA 24/7 and deal with your situation the right way.
Unauthorized Use of Property in Ohio
Unauthorized use of property is prosecuted under Ohio statute 2913.04. This prohibits knowingly gaining access to and using a computer, computer system, computer network, cable service, cable system, telecommunications device, telecommunications service, or information service without the consent of the owner or service provider.
Unauthorized Use of Property Penalties & Consequences
Unauthorized use of property is theft. If convicted, you could face serious consequences. The severity of a conviction will depend on the circumstances. If you are found guilty of unauthorized use of property and your offense does not involve a scheme to defraud property services, it is a fourth-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail.
However, when the unauthorized use was part of a scheme to defraud or obtain property or services, it is a first-degree misdemeanor or a felony of the second, third, fourth, or fifth degree, depending on the value of the lost property or services. Convictions are punishable between 180 days in jail and 8 years in prison.
If convicted of unauthorized use of property, other possible consequences include:
- Facing civil liability and having to pay restitution to the rightful owner of stolen property
- Difficulty maintaining or securing employment
- Difficulty being admitted to certain professional associations
- Difficulty getting a passport, visa, or green card
- Outright bar on some employment opportunities, like working at a bank or in the capacity of a fiduciary
- Inability to pass a background check
Crimes involving dishonesty are very serious. A conviction for unauthorized use of property could ruin your personal and professional reputation for years to come. It’s important to treat your unauthorized use of property charge with the gravity it merits because your livelihood and your freedom could depend on it.
How a Columbus Unauthorized Property Use Attorney Can Help
The Columbus fraud attorneys at LHA take your charges very seriously, and we know what it takes to get you past them. We will thoroughly investigate your case to find any and all defenses that may be raised on your behalf. Let us aggressively advocate for you and make sure your rights are upheld.
We Pursue the Best Possible Results
Depending on the State’s case and any mitigating circumstances, a Columbus fraud attorney will work to have your charges dismissed or to negotiate the most favorable plea deal possible.
If your case cannot be resolved satisfactorily at this stage, we will move on to trial where we will guide you through the process and construct your case for the jury or judge.
If you have certain mitigating factors, like a substance abuse problem that motivated you to commit an act of fraud or an otherwise clean criminal history, we will work with prosecutors to secure your entry into a diversion program in lieu of a conviction.
Speak with a Theft Attorney Today
The Columbus theft and fraud lawyers with LHA have decades of experience defending the unauthorized use of property and other fraud charges, ranging from the most minor to the most serious. With our record of success, LHA is ready to start fighting for you so that these charges don’t define the rest of your life.
Call a Columbus unauthorized property use attorney today at (614) 500-3836 to schedule your free consultation. We’ll review your situation, explain your options, and guide your next steps.
A Columbus Criminal Defense Attorney is Here to Help
For over a decade, Luftman, Heck & Associates has successfully represented clients on criminal offenses ranging from minor misdemeanors to first-degree felonies. Let us use our experience to help you.