Have you or someone you love been arrested for a theft crime in Louisville? Don’t give the state any extra time to build a case against you uncontested. Contact the criminal defense attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC for immediate legal assistance.
Whether you’ve been arrested for misdemeanor shoplifting or felony larceny, our theft defense lawyers can help. We’ll fight the prosecution every step of the way and make sure that your rights are protected.
We have more than 15 years of experience defending clients like you against criminal theft charges in and around Jefferson County. You will benefit from our aggressive approach and in-depth understanding of Kentucky theft laws. We’ll investigate your alleged crime, attack evidence, and make it as difficult as possible for the state to build a case against you.
Your first consultation is free, so call our law firm for help today at (502) 371-7000.
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What is Theft?
Theft can be loosely defined as knowingly taking something that doesn’t belong to you with the intent to keep it away from its rightful owner. Most theft crimes are classified as “theft by unlawful taking or disposition” or “theft by deception.”
Theft by unlawful taking or disposition is defined in KRS 514.030 to mean:
- “unlawfully taking or exercising control over movable property of another with the intent to deprive him thereof,” or
- “Obtaining immovable property of another with the intent to benefit himself.”
In other words, you take property belonging to another person and intend to keep it or benefit from it in some way.
Theft by deception is defined in KRS 514.040 to mean:
- “Obtaining property or services of another by deception with the intent to deprive” the owner of that property or its value.
Deception means “creating or reinforcing a false impression, including false impressions of law, value, intention, or other state of mind.
In other words, you obtain property by tricking or manipulating the owner into giving it to you.
Elements of a Theft Crime Case
When you’re accused of a theft crime, the state has the burden of proving that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. To do this, prosecutors must prove each element of the offense. While all theft crimes have their own individual definitions, all involve the intentional deprivation of property or services.
Intent: Taking or depriving someone of their property is only a crime when it is done intentionally. You have to want to either (a) keep the property, (b) secure some benefit from the property, or (c) prevent the rightful owner from having the property or its benefits.
Deprivation: Theft involves depriving a property owner of goods or benefits. Kentucky law defines “deprive” to mean withholding property from its rightful owner for so long that they are unable to enjoy it or its benefits.
Property: Property is defined to mean “anything of value.” This can include movable property, which has no fixed physical location, and immovable property, which includes everything else. Examples can include:
- Real property
- Government benefits
- Life insurance proceeds
- Contractual rights, and
- Patents or other intellectual property.
Services: Theft doesn’t necessarily have to involve goods or other property. Theft crimes can also involve services. Examples might include professional services (e.g., legal, accounting, medical), hotel accommodations, restaurant service, or utilities (e.g., electricity, gas water).
Theft Crimes Our Louisville Attorneys Handle
Our attorneys are prepared to defend you against any type of theft charges you may face. These might include:
Petty Larceny: Theft of movable property valued at less than $500.
Grand Larceny: Theft of movable property valued at more than $500.
Shoplifting: Concealing and/or taking goods with the intent to steal them from a place of business.
Robbery: Forcible theft of property from another person.
Extortion: Obtaining property or services by threatening or harming another person.
Embezzlement: Taking goods or money that had been entrusted to you by another person.
Receipt of Stolen Property: Possessing property or goods that you know or should know has been stolen.
Fraud: Obtaining property by deceiving the rightful owner about the law, its value, or status.
Identity Theft: Using another’s person’s identifying information for personal gain.
We understand the complexities of Kentucky theft law and how your defense needs to be structured. When you hire Suhre & Associates to handle your criminal case, you can trust that you’ll get the best possible defense. Call our law offices today to learn more.
Consequences of Theft Crimes in Kentucky
Theft can be a misdemeanor or a felony in Kentucky. The seriousness of criminal charges often depends on the value of the stolen property. Charges may be aggravated if you have prior convictions for the same offense on your criminal record.
Class A Misdemeanor. Theft of property valued at less than $500. Penalties can include up to 12 months in jail and $500 in fines.
Class D Felony. Theft of property valued between $500 and $10,000. Penalties can include between one and five years in a Kentucky state prison, probation, and up to $10,000 in fines.
Class C Felony. Theft of property valued at more than $10,000. Penalties can include between five and ten years in prison, probation, and up to $10,000 in fines.
Fines for felony theft offenses may also be calculated by doubling the amount of gain from the crime.
Defending Criminal Theft Charges in Kentucky
Don’t assume that your future is ruined just because you’ve been arrested for a theft crime in Louisville. Remember, the state has the burden of proving that you’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This is an incredibly high level of proof. You can make the prosecution’s job even more difficult by asserting a strong defense.
Defenses that might help when you’re arrested for a theft crime include:
- Mistaken identity
- False accusation
- Lack of required intent
- The property is rightfully yours, or
- Evidence obtained through a violation of your rights.
Did the state obtain evidence because of an unlawful arrest or an illegal search? Unfortunately, this happens more than you might think. They cannot be allowed to benefit from a violation of your rights. You need an attorney who knows how to challenge the state’s evidence and get it dismissed. Without evidence, the state might be forced to negotiate a plea bargain or drop the charges against you.
At Suhre & Associates, our attorneys have more than 15 years of experience handling criminal matters. We understand that your future is on the line and will do everything we can to protect it. Call our law firm today to schedule a free initial consultation. Our Lousiville theft defense lawyers will review your case and answer any questions you have.