Everything You Need to Know to Hire a Maryland Theft Lawyer
If you are facing theft charges in Maryland, having the right Maryland theft lawyer on your side can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
When You Need a Maryland Theft Lawyer
Whether you had a momentary lapse of judgment or were in the wrong place at the wrong time, you need a Maryland theft lawyer to help you plan your defense if you have been accused of stealing. You might be found guilty even if you have an honest belief that you are innocent of the theft crimes of which you are charged. Many people face negative repercussions for something they didn’t do because they failed to seek reliable legal counsel.
Theft charges resulting in Maryland felonies or misdemeanors see severe penalties, including incarceration and fines depending on the type of crime. Theft cases involving large amounts of property or services or a dangerous weapon are dealt with more harshly than petty theft or shoplifting. The punishment is intended to be a deterrent and is somewhat arbitrarily doled out based on the value of the property stolen or the pain and suffering the alleged victim received.
A criminal lawyer with ample experience with Maryland state law and the criminal justice system has the tools to provide information, advice, and legal representation. They may be able to professionally negotiate your supposed theft offenses to reduce the charges or have them withdrawn. Contact a Maryland theft attorney at law, such as Morgan E. Leigh of Scrofano Law, for a carefully considered and comprehensive criminal defense.
The Role of a Theft Attorney in Maryland
Although you never think you will need their services, many possible scenarios would require the assistance of a theft attorney in Maryland. For example, if you have been found with stolen personal property, you could be accused of stealing by the owner of the property and subsequently arrested. A vindictive ex-spouse could implicate you for credit card theft, blaming you for taking unauthorized possession of their credit or debit card under false pretenses.
Since a person convicted of having stolen goods or certain other illegal acts faces strict penalties for theft, they owe it to themselves to retain the assistance of a successful Maryland theft lawyer. A Silver Spring criminal lawyer could examine your case’s details and use proven strategies to build a strong defense.
The Best Theft Lawyer in Maryland Gets Results
According to Title 3, Subtitle 4 of the Maryland Criminal Law Code, crimes of robbery are felonies requiring the best theft lawyer in Maryland to avoid punishment. Robbery charges receive imprisonment of up to 15 years if convicted. Robbery is the act of forcibly taking property or services from another by the threat of violence or the use of a dangerous weapon.
To obtain a guilty verdict, the prosecution must prove that the defendant rightfully knew what they were doing and intended to deprive the owner of their property or illegally receive services from them. A defense of no intent can sometimes be used as a successful strategy.
What Are the Qualities of a Good Theft Lawyer?
To improve your chances of a favorable outcome to your case, you should know the qualities of a good theft lawyer and seek to retain the services of one in your area. Regardless of the specific type of crime, you should take theft charges in Maryland seriously to avoid the long-term effects of having a criminal conviction on your record.
In addition to fines and possible jail time, your conviction will be documented on your permanent record, available for anyone who conducts a background check. This may restrict your employment, housing, and borrowing opportunities, as many companies and lending institutions require a clean record.
An experienced Maryland theft lawyer will have qualities that will benefit your cases, such as a discerning ear, excellent communication skills, and shrewd defense strategies to reduce or eliminate your charges.
How to Get the Best Theft Attorney Maryland
If you have been accused of stealing, you’ll want to know how to get the best theft attorney in Maryland. To ensure you are hiring an effective law firm, you want to look for one that has extensive experience with cases involving theft in Maryland. Maryland theft laws vary, and statutes are interpreted differently, which results in sentences that are more intense in some jurisdictions than others.
Property theft might be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony with penalties that consist of prison time, fines, or a combination of the two. Therefore, you should consult an attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and advise you of your responsibilities.
Understanding Maryland Theft Charges
Maryland theft charges are covered by Maryland criminal law code Title 7, Subtitle 1. Based on Section 7-102, the crime of theft includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Armed robbery
- Identity theft
- Motor vehicle theft
- Receiving stolen property
To be convicted of theft, you must know that the property involved is stolen. Regardless of its market value, having stolen property is only illegal if you receive the property knowing that it is stolen. Suppose you are arrested for an act that results in a theft charge. In that case, you should immediately contact a reputable law office to begin fighting the charges and reducing the likelihood that you will be convicted.
Maryland Theft Statute Explained
According to Maryland theft statute Section 7-104, theft is defined as an act to exert unauthorized control over property. Penalties vary based on the value of the property or services taken. When convicted, the defendant must return the item or pay the full value of the stolen property or services stolen in addition to any additional penalties and expenses.
The punishment varies depending on whether the crime is charged as a misdemeanor or felony. Fines can range from $500.00 to over $25,000.00 with incarceration sentences that range from 90 days of jail time to 30 years in prison. Those with prior convictions are prosecuted more harshly. Your criminal defense Rockville Criminal Attorney can further outline the consequences you face if convicted.
Commonly Used Maryland Theft Defenses
Section 7-110 delineates some of the commonly used Maryland theft defenses that may be useful in your case. A few possible defenses a skilled law office might use are:
- You acted under a good faith claim that the property was yours.
- You believed you could rightfully obtain or exert control over the property.
- You knew the property was your spouse’s.
- You received the knowledge of trade secrets from someone other than the person claiming you allegedly stole them.
If you have been arrested for or believe you are being investigated for shoplifting or another alleged crime, you should immediately contact a reliable law firm. Developing a solid attorney-client relationship with a counselor like Morgan E. Leigh of Scrofano Law can begin your criminal defense and possibly help you avoid years in prison.