Charleston Theft Crimes Defense Attorneys Provide Strong Advocacy for Clients
West Virginia criminal defense lawyers fight accusations of larceny, embezzlement and misappropriation
An arrest for theft or even a small amount of money or property can jeopardize your freedom, reputation and prospects for jobs, education and eligibility for private or public benefit programs. If you are charged with theft of any kind, you should treat the situation with the utmost seriousness and should not try to face the prosecution alone. You need the services of a Charleston theft crimes defense attorney. At The Giatras Law Firm, PLLC, we have decades of experience representing defendants against both state and federal theft charges.
What is criminal theft?
Criminal theft is the taking of property rightfully belonging to someone else with the intent of permanently depriving them of that property. Theft can be carried out by force, by false pretenses or by misusing property that has been entrusted for a particular purpose. There are differences in the way the federal and state criminal laws define theft, but the consequences can be equally serious in both court systems. If you are charged with a theft crime in either federal or state court, we are prepared to provide you with a vigorous defense.
Common theft crimes in West Virginia
There are several types of theft crimes recognized in West Virginia, such as:
- Petty and grand theft — If the value of goods is less than $1,000, it is petty theft. If $1,000 or more, it is grand theft.
- Retail theft — Also known as shoplifting or theft of services, this offense occurs when someone steals merchandise or deliberately fails to pay for a service provided.
- Auto theft —This offense increases in degree based on the value of the motor vehicle involved.
- Embezzlement — This occurs when someone in a position of trust, such as an accountant, trustee or manager, steals money or property that has been placed in their care for designated purposes.
- Robbery — This is the taking of money or property by the use of violence or the threat of violence.
- Theft by false pretenses — You may be guilty of theft when you obtain property from another by fraudulent claims, representations or promises.
- Identity theft — Using someone’s personal information to impersonate them is identity theft even if it doesn’t involve taking the victim’s property.
- Receiving stolen property — Even if you don’t steal property yourself, you commit a crime if you accept possession of property you know was stolen.
We will defend you from these and any other type of theft crime you may be charged with.
Impact of conviction in West Virginia
People convicted of theft crimes may be sentenced to serve jail time, to pay fines and to make restitution to the victim, along with other penalties. The degree of punishment is generally related to the amount of money or property stolen, but other factors can also influence the sentence. In addition, any prior convictions may result in the degree of the offense and an increase in the penalties imposed.
Tactics to defend clients against theft charges
If we are retained to defend you against a theft charge, we will zealously pursue all means available to ensure protection of your rights. We will challenge the admissibility of any evidence that the police illegally seized or that is of dubious validity. We will scrutinize the credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses and the competence of any other evidence the prosecutor introduces. In cases where the evidence is against you, we may be able to plead down the charge, sparing you the weight of the penalties that could be imposed for the original charge.
Contact respected Charleston theft defense attorneys for a free initial consultation
The criminal defense lawyers at The Giatras Law Firm, PLLC in Charleston, West Virginia are experienced in defending West Virginians from theft crime charges. To schedule a free initial consultation with our team, call 888-819-1281 or contact us online.