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If someone has accused you of theft, you are probably wondering what this means in terms of your work, jail time, and having a criminal record. Just because someone has accused you of theft and even has evidence against you, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fight back. A skilled criminal defense lawyer, such as a criminal defense lawyer in Rockville, MD, knows that these charges are serious and can completely change your life. Just because there is evidence against you, however, does not mean you will go to jail. Instead, with the help of your attorney, you will use the defense that makes sense for your situation and get help navigating through this legal journey. When you work with a good attorney you know you are in good hands and that they will make this process as simple as possible. 

How is the severity of the theft determined?
When someone alleges that you stole property, there are a few factors that a court will take into account. For example, they will be looking at what kind of property you stole, how much you took, what the value of the property in question is, and even how you stole it. From the above factors, the most important ones that determine your theft charges will likely be the value of the property allegedly stolen and if there were any aggravating circumstances surrounding how it was stolen. 

Will I go to jail?
We get this question often and want to reassure you that even a theft conviction does not automatically mean there is jail time. Certain states are more strict than others when it comes to theft crimes, but the value is often a determining factor. For example, if you are found guilty of theft but the items totaled less than a certain amount, then you may face specific punishments such as fines and a criminal record. While there is a possibility of jail time up to a certain amount, this does not mean a judge will require jail time. On the other hand, if the items stolen total to more than a certain amount of money, it may automatically become a felony instead of a misdemeanor. When this happens, a felony often means there is almost always some amount of jail time that you would need to serve.

This is a crime I didn’t commit. What can I do?
The best thing you can do for yourself is to contact a good criminal defense attorney. Circumstances surrounding theft cases can be difficult, and you will want to make sure that you have a criminal defense attorney by your side who can help while you are in court. 

Thanks to The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into what to do if you are accused of theft.