What Should You Do if You Are Arrested for Theft?

There are several types of theft charges, and a theft charge could be a simple misdemeanor or a felony. Any criminal charge is a serious matter, and the first thing that someone should do when arrested for theft is invoke the right to not say anything about the issue and immediately contact an attorney that practices criminal defense law. Not doing this could result in steep fines, restitution orders, and perhaps jail time or a significant probation period.

Why Keeping Quiet Is the Wise Decision 

Police officers and detectives are allowed some leeway in questioning suspects accused of a crime such as theft. This could mean long questioning sessions in uncomfortable interrogation rooms with overbearing, intimidating detectives. It could even include deliberately misleading or lying to the accused party in order to catch them in a falsehood or get them to confess to a crime, even if they didn’t commit one. This is why any good theft lawyer worth his or her salt will admonish their clients to keep silent unless the attorney is present.

A Juvenile Should Have a Parent and Lawyer Present

Younger kids and teens sometimes get into trouble with the law. Many juveniles resort to shoplifting to impress their friends or just to take an item they want but can’t afford. Shoplifting is also common with certain adults, and the stealing can become addictive, especially if the thief has gotten away with it in the past. 

Some people steal items they can justify stealing like hotel towels or restaurant condiment containers. Any juvenile caught or arrested for theft should have his or her parents and a lawyer present when being questioned by the police. This is everyone’s right under the law. 

Why Juveniles Sometimes Confess to Crimes They Didn’t Do

Psychologists caution that children and teens often “confess” to crimes after long interview sessions with police even when they are not guilty. Younger individuals often just want to go home and will say what they think the police want to hear. Some adults also confess when they are not guilty of whatever crime they are being charged with, according to mental health experts. Many individuals have learning disorders or a vulnerable personality due to a decreased mental capacity or past abuse.

Types of Possible Theft Charges

Theft is defined as the act of taking another person’s property or personal services without first obtaining that person’s consent or permission to do so. There is an intent to deprive the true owner of their rightful belongings or special services. There are a number of names that can be listed under theft. These include shoplifting, looting, burglary, larceny, embezzlement, fraud, or theft among many other terms.

What Does Grand Larceny Mean?

When someone is accused of grand larceny, this means that the item or services that the person stole amounts to a value of $1,000 or more. This is a more severe theft charge, and grand larceny is considered a felony offense punishable by lengthy jail time and steep fines of up to $100,000. These punishments are subject to change. It is important to point out that many states and countries have laws on the books that mandate certain punishments that amount to mandatory jail time and fines. It is in the accused’s best interests to consult quickly with an experienced theft lawyer before talking with police or agreeing to any plea deal.

When Theft Charges Become a Federal Crime

In addition to the above mentioned punishments for theft, there are some theft situations when the federal government will get involved. These situations include theft of mail or packages delivered through the mail system that can result in hefty fines and up to five years in jail. There are also certain drug-related cases involving theft and widespread embezzlement or fraud cases that may fall under federal jurisdiction according to seasoned theft lawyers.