Depending on your specific circumstances, being charged with theft in Bloomington can involve numerous different actions, as well as various types of real and monetary items of value. Accordingly, the punishments you could face upon conviction for this offense vary significantly, from minor fines and a few weeks in jail to years or even decades in prison.
No matter what level of theft offense you are accused of, you have the right to seek representation from an experienced attorney. Once retained, an experienced Bloomington theft lawyer could explain how state law applies to your particular situation and work tirelessly to secure a positive case resolution on your behalf.
How State Law Defines Misdemeanor Theft Offenses
Minnesota Statutes §609.52 classifies theft offenses primarily based on two criteria: the type of item or asset that was allegedly stolen, and the monetary value of the stolen goods. In general, theft of items, services, or liquid cash less than $1,000 in total value is considered a misdemeanor offense, while thefts involving more than $1,000 worth of goods or services are considered felonies.
More specifically, an act of theft involving under $500 of goods or services are misdemeanors punishable by no more than a $1,000 and a jail term of no more than 90 days in length. Thefts between $500 and $1,000 in total value are elevated to the level of gross misdemeanor, meaning penalties upon conviction could include maximum fines of $3,000 and a maximum jail term of one year.
Importantly, defendants with a history of recent theft convictions may end up having a gross misdemeanor theft offense elevated by the court to a felony offense, potentially resulting in a $10,000 fine and a five-year prison sentence upon conviction. Representation from a theft attorney may be especially crucial for anyone accused of stealing something who has a prior record of similar offenses in the local area.
Felony Theft Charges and Consequences
In addition to repeat gross misdemeanor theft offenses, any individual theft of between $1,000 and $5,000 of goods or services is a felony offense punishable at most by five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Theft from a burning or vacant building, of public funds, of a vehicle, or of a Schedule III, IV, or V controlled substance may also result in the same penalties upon conviction.
The maximum penalties for felony theft increase to ten years in prison and a $20,000 fine if the value of property or services stolen exceeds $5,000, or if the stolen property was a trade secret, Schedule I or II controlled substances other than marijuana, or an explosive device. Finally, the most severe consequences a defendant could face for a felony theft conviction are a 20-year prison sentence and a $100,000 fine, which may be applicable if the offense in question involved some form of fraud or wage theft to obtain more than $35,000 worth of services or property, or if the stolen property in question was a firearm.
No matter how serious a defendant’s alleged offense is, a qualified theft lawyer in Bloomington could ensure their rights are protected and advocate for their best interests in and out of court. They could also contest allegations that a defendant’s action while committing a theft constituted a threat of harm to another person, as this circumstance allows for enhanced penalties in both misdemeanor and felony cases.
Talk to a Bloomington Theft Attorney Today
Effectively contesting a theft charge in Bloomington is rarely a simple prospect, especially if you are accused of stealing an item, service, or form of property that automatically makes your offense a felony. Even misdemeanor cases can be tough to handle if you have been convicted of theft offenses before, or if you allegedly threatened someone else with harm in the course of committing your offense.
Whatever the circumstances, seeking assistance from a skilled Bloomington theft lawyer should be your first priority after being arrested or charged with this kind of offense. To set up a consultation about your unique situation, call today.