Types of Felony Theft in Louisiana
Felony Theft Louisiana
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What You Need to Know About Felony Theft in the State of Louisiana
The statutes of the State of Louisiana define theft as “the misappropriation or taking of anything of value which belongs to another, either without the consent of the other to the misappropriation or taking, or by means of fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations.” It also defines theft as “an intent to deprive the other permanently of whatever may be the subject of the misappropriation, or taking is essential.”
Under these broad definitions, theft charges in Louisiana have been categorized under several classifications, including misdemeanor and felony thefts. A significant difference in both classes is the worth of the stolen property. In most cases classified as a misdemeanor, the value of the stolen item is under $1000.
Thefts above $500 but below $100 may also count as a misdemeanor. However, in cases where the perpetrator was charged for a previous offense, say a theft, such a case will not be considered a misdemeanor, even if the property stolen is worth less than $1000.
On the other hand, a felony theft charge in Louisiana is usually placed on an individual who steals an item worth more than $1000. A felony charge may be placed on an individual with overwhelming evidence needed to prove theft, such as intent to endanger the victim’s life and a history of violence. Offenders charged with felony theft may get 5-20 years depending on several factors, ranging from the number of items stolen, previous offenses, and evidence that proves theft.
An experienced criminal defense attorney is essential if you face felony theft charges in the Shreveport or Bossier City area. Retain the legal services of Mr. Christopher M. Stahl ; he is a competent attorney specializing in criminal defense.Your defense attorney will fight for your rights through every step of the criminal justice system.
Types of Felony Theft
While felony theft is a category of theft, different offenses serve as types of felony theft. Among them are embezzlement, armed robbery, possession of stolen goods, and grand theft. The severity of punishment for these cases depends on the evidence presented and the perpetrator’s history.
Embezzlement is classified as theft since it involves willfully taking or keeping money or valuable items entrusted under an individual’s purview.
Usually, embezzlement occurs in the corporate world. Misappropriation of funds occurs among investment banks, stock brokers, and public offices, among other places. In proving a case of embezzlement, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant was entrusted with the money. The prosecution must also prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant has converted the funds in their care for personal gain.
It is a white-collar crime and may not count as a felony if the amount embezzled is under $1000. Also, the case may be pleaded to a misdemeanor if the individual is a first offender. In such cases, the individual is given a reduced sentence or a slap on the wrist.
However, in a case where the amount embezzled or stolen exceeds $1000, an individual may face time up to 5 years in prison, even for a first offender. The punishment tends to be more if an exorbitant amount of money was embezzled or if there was harm done to the party that entrusted the funds during the period of embezzlement.
Grand theft differs from theft or breaking and entry (B&E) because of the use of force or threat.
It involves willfully dispossessing an individual of their property, whether money, a piece of jewelry, or other valuables. Grand theft may involve using weapons like a knife or a gun or roughing up the victim. It is categorized as a felony when the value of the item stolen exceeds $1000. The punishment may vary based on the amount stolen and the injury inflicted on the victim.
However, the perpetrator may be charged with additional offenses if the victim suffered a life-threatening injury. Some of these include aggravated assault, use of a deadly weapon, or threat to life. This may lead to added punishment due to the other charges apart from felony theft. A felony theft charge that warrants 5-10 years incarceration may increase to 25 years with hard labor due to the other offenses.
Receiving or Possession of Stolen Goods
Another kind of felony theft is the willful receipt of stolen goods. While there is no direct dispossession of an individual’s valuables, possessing stolen goods may be considered felony theft. The receiver of the stolen goods is regarded as a party to the crime and is therefore guilty if the goods are found in their possession. Like other kinds of felony theft charges, the value of the stolen items must exceed $1000 to count as felony theft.
However, certain conditions must be met for a defendant guilty of a felony charge. The prosecutor must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant knew that the goods in his possession were stolen. The evidence presented must also unequivocally prove that the defendant intends to use or sell the stolen goods in his possession.
These conditions must be met if the defendant is charged with felony theft. Although, in a case where the defendant is a regular offender, the prosecution may have a premise to push for a felony charge.
Theft is the broad term used to describe charges that involve the illegal taking of anything of value belonging to another person without the individual’s consent.
In other definitions under Louisiana statutes, theft would refer to permanently dispossessing the individual of such a valuable item. Theft covers offenses like breaking and entering, pickpocketing, shoplifting, or in some cases, carjacking.
However, according to Louisiana statutes (La. Rev. Stat.§§ 14:67 to 14:67.26 (2020), the following count as theft
- Theft of a firearm
- livestock theft
- theft of a motor vehicle
- theft of timber
- theft of anhydrous ammonia
- identity theft
This list may be interpreted further to accommodate the theft of personal items like jewelry, bonds, confidential documents, or crops. The above offenses may count as a felony when the value of the items stolen is above $1000. Theft under these statutes is classified as felony theft and may result in prison for up to 5 years.
Punishment for Felony Theft
As mentioned above, the punishment for felony theft charges in Louisiana varies on several factors. Prominent among these factors is the amount or value of the stolen item. An individual is charged with felony theft when the value of the stolen item exceeds $1000. The punishment will, however, increase based on the stolen item’s value. Therefore the penalty for the theft of $10,000 would exceed that $1000.
Also, as mentioned, the punishment may vary based on the perpetrator’s criminal history. First-time offenders can plead to a more lenient judgment due to a clean record. However, due to their records, regular offenders may be charged with a harsher sentence.
According to the statutes of the State of Louisiana, La. Rev. Stat. § 14:67 (2020), the following are the punishments for felony theft.
- For property theft valued at less than $1,000, the offender can receive a sentence of imprisonment of not more than six months, a fine of not more than $1,000, or both.
- For property theft valued at more than $1,000 but less than $5,000, the offender can receive a sentence of imprisonment of not more than five years, a fine of not more than $3,000, or both.
- For property theft valued at more than $5,000 but less than $25,000, the offender can receive a sentence of imprisonment of not more than ten years, a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.
- For property theft valued at $25,000 or more, the offender can receive a sentence of imprisonment of not more than 20 years, a fine of not more than $50,000, or both.
The above punishments are subject to interpretation at a court session when the case is reviewed before a judge, jury, and the attorneys of the defendant and prosecution.
With the above in mind, it is crucial for persons who have been charged or suspected of a theft crime in North Louisiana to retain a Bossier City criminal defense lawyer who can uphold and defend their constitutional rights in court. Mr. Stahl is familiar with the intricacies of theft offense accusations in Shreveport and Bossier City and is skilled at navigating the legal system.
What can you do if you’re charged with Felony theft in the State of Louisiana?
The first thing you should do is exercise your Miranda rights. These rights help to protect you and prevent you from incriminating yourself.
Usually, the arresting officer reads out these rights to you while making the arrest. Next, make a demand for your phone call and get yourself an expert felony attorney like Mr. Christopher M. Stahl. Mr. Stahl has handled hundreds of felony theft cases in Louisiana. Your freedom is at stake here, so you need the best legal representation.
Whether you committed the crime or not, if you have been accused of a felony theft crime in Bossier City, you should get the advice and legal representation that only a seasoned criminal defense lawyer can offer.
Call The Law Office of Christopher M. Stahl for Top Theft Defense in Bossier City, LA
A felony theft charge occurs when the item stolen is worth more than $1,000. The punishment varies with the amount stolen and the severity of the circumstances that warranted the charge. Also, theft history is considered when passing punishment on the offender.
Therefore, if you ever need to get out of a felony theft charge, you must call the big guns to action. The Law Office of Christopher M. Stahl is a competent attorney specializing in criminal defense. Call now for a consultation.
Contact The Law Offices of Christopher M. Stahl
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