Theft cases involve a broad variety of conduct, and can vary in severity depending on the value of the property involved (such as grand or auto theft), the relationship of the parties (e.g., an employee in a position of trust), or can even be charged as a “strike” if there is an intent to steal upon entry into a residence, or force used in the taking. The context of these relationships and settings can determine if the case is a felony or misdemeanor, and can exacerbate the amounts of damages or loss being alleged.
Today these cases often involve video or audio recordings, and complex paper trails involving emails, texts, bank accounts, and transference of funds into gift cards or returned items. Many of these types of charges involve a category of crimes known as “crimes of moral turpitude” (a readiness to do evil) and can have a lasting effect on the credibility and character of the person being accused. These classes of criminal conduct can detrimentally impact one’s immigration status or ability to naturalize, obtain or maintain professional licenses, or be able to credibly testify in corollary (or even unrelated) proceedings.
As a result, a skilled attorney is necessary to properly discern how any plea negotiated dispositions will affect other aspects of an individual’s life and is essential. Finding creative resolutions, such as civil compromises, alternative charges, or dual pleas may come into play. Sometimes, a jury trial will be necessary, to attack and expose false or inflated allegations underlying the charges.