Conversion, Theft, and Auto Theft

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Indiana’s current statutory scheme places stealing something from someone into three possible categories.  These categories are theft as a Class A Misdemeanor, Theft as a Level 6 Felony, and Auto Theft.  This week’s blog takes a look at each crime and how they are many times practically applied.
Theft is defined as A person who knowingly or intentionally exerts unauthorized control over property of another person, with intent to deprive the other person of any part of its value or use. As initially charged, theft is a Class A misdemeanor. Basically, the State has to prove that you took someone else property without their permission and with the intent that they not be able to use it. Other factors, discussed below, can cause the Theft to become a felony.
For your theft charge to become a Level 6 Felony, there are one of three things that must have occurred. However, before addressing those, the elements of felony theft are exactly the same as the misdemeanor theft. The first thing that can cause your misdemeanor theft to become a felony is a prior history of thefts or conversions. If you have a prior conviction for conversion(the old misdemeanor theft under old Indiana law) or a conviction for misdemeanor theft under the current Indiana law, then the State can charge your current case as a level 6 felony. The second prong that can cause your theft to be elevated to a level 6 felony is the value of the property that is stolen. If the value of the property stolen is at least $750.00 but less than $50,000.00 than it can be charged as a Level 6 Felony. Lastly, if the stolen item is a firearm it is automatically a Level 6 Felony.
There are also a couple of situations wherein the Theft can be a Level 5 Felony. First, if the property that is stolen is worth more than $50,000.00 it can be filed as a level 5 Felony. There is also a rare situation if the property is a valuable metal and affects the safety transportation, the public, a hospital, utility, or other key facility.
Auto Theft
The legislature was so concerned about the crime of auto theft that it gave it its own statutory crime.  It is the same as theft except it involves a car or a component part of a car.  When the stealing involves a car, the prosecutor will file auto theft as a Level 6 Felony.
The Indianapolis Criminal Defense Attorneys at Banks & Brower have the knowledge and experience to help you if you have been charged with a theft related crime.  If you have been charged contact Banks & Brower today at 317-870-0019.