If police in Indianapolis have arrested you on charges of theft of property, call Banks & Brower for legal representation. Our Indianapolis theft attorneys have decades of experience handling property theft cases, and we can help you safeguard your rights and future. We have confident, talented, and successful lawyers available 24/7 to take your call. You can discuss your arrest and pending charges against you during a free, no-obligation consultation, and find out what to do from there. Speaking with an Indianapolis property theft lawyer right after a theft of property arrest in Indianapolis could significantly help your case.
What Is Property Theft?
Anyone who knowingly or intentionally steals, takes, or otherwise “exerts unauthorized control” over the property of another person, with intent to deprive the victim of the property’s use or value, commits theft of property under Indiana law. Theft of property is typically a Class A misdemeanor, but the prosecution can increase the charge to a Level 6 felony if any of the following are true:
- The value of the property is $750 or greater, but less than $50,000
- The stolen property is a firearm
- The offender has a prior unrelated conviction for theft
You could receive an even more serious Level 5 felony conviction for theft of property if the value of the property is at least $50,000 or the property is a valuable metal and if the theft related to public or transportation safety and caused a substantial risk of bodily injury to another person. A Class A misdemeanor for theft can result in up to 1 year in jail and up to a $5,000 fine. A Level 6 felony is punishable with 6 months to 2.5 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Penalties for a Level 5 theft felony are 1 to 6 years in prison, and up to $10,000.
Possible Defenses to Theft Charges
When you work with one of our Indianapolis theft attorneys, you’ll have access to a wealth of knowledge, information, resources, and experience. During your consultation with your lawyer, you might discuss potential defense strategies in which you would plead not guilty, aim for a plea bargain, or strive to reduce the charges against you. There are several possible defenses for a theft of property charge, but one of the most common is asserting that the property owner authorized you to take or damage the property. Under Indiana law, taking control over someone property is only “unauthorized” in these circumstances:
- You did not have the other person’s consent
- You took control in a manner or extent outside of the person’s consent
- You failed to disclose a lien or adverse action that impedes the enjoyment of the property
- You committed fraud by falsely impersonating the other person
- You failed to correct a false impression, if you are in a relationship involving special trust with the person
- You promised performance you know the piece of property will not perform
- You expressed an intention to damage another person’s property
- You transferred or reproduced audio without consent of the owner of the master recording, with intent to distribute for a profit
Contact a Theft Lawyer in Indianapolis
If your theft attorney can show one of the above is not true, leading to the authorized control over another person’s property, this defense could lead to the courts dismissing the charges against you. Your lawyer could then guide you through the expungement process to erase all record of your theft-related arrest. Even if there is no plausible defense in your favor, an Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer can use all possible outlets of the law to instigate a plea bargain or deal in which you serve a reduced penalty, receive a lighter conviction, or otherwise don’t have to suffer the full weight of the law. Learn more about your individual case with help from Banks & Brower. Contact us today.