Common Types Of Theft In Louisiana

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If you were accused of taking something that doesn’t belong to you, you may be facing serious criminal charges. If you’re convicted of the crime, you could end up with jail time and fines, depending on your specific offense.

To fully understand the penalties that might apply to your case, it’s important to know what your charges mean and how they differ from similar offenses. Take a look at how burglary and theft are defined and treated in Louisiana’s criminal courts, and then contact a local law firm to fight your charges.


A person charged with burglary Louisiana is accused of unlawfully entering someone’s house, car, boat, or other structure with the intent to commit theft or any other felony. In most cases, burglary refers to breaking into someone’s home or vehicle without their consent and stealing an item. So, if you entered someone’s house or car without their consent and stole their valuables, you’ll likely be charged with burglary.

But as the definition suggests, it’s possible to be charged with burglary even if you didn’t steal anything, since unlawfully entering someone’s property with the intent to commit a crime is considered burglary. So, if you broke into a house and vandalized it, you could be charged with burglary.

The penalties for this crime depend on the circumstances of the act. If convicted of simple burglary in Louisiana, you could be punished by up to 12 years in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. If you’re convicted of aggravated burglary because you armed yourself with a dangerous weapon or committed battery against someone during the crime, you face imprisonment with hard labor for one to 30 years. Your lawyer can tell you which penalties apply to your case.


This state defines theft as taking someone else’s property without their consent, with the intention of depriving them of it permanently. In most cases, the accused doesn’t make contact with the person they’re stealing from.

While stealing an item from an individual or store is a typical example of theft, there are several variations of this crime. The following are all examples of theft:

  • Credit card fraud
  • Shoplifting
  • Identity theft
  • Vehicle theft
  • Livestock theft
  • Firearm theft
  • Embezzlement
  • Possession of stolen goods

Theft can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the value of the stolen item and the circumstances surrounding the crime. The penalties are also decided based on the stolen item’s value.

For instance, if you stole $25,000 or more worth of items, you could be punished with up to 20 years in prison with hard labor, plus a fine of up to $50,000. If the value of stolen items was at least $5,000 but less than $25,000, the penalties drop to 10 years or less in prison with or without hard labor and up to $10,000 in fines.

If the items you stole were worth at least $1,000 but less than $5,000, your penalty could be prison with or without hard labor for up to 5 years and a fine of up to $3,000. If the items you stole were worth less than $1,000, you could face up to six months of prison and a fine of up to $1,000.


Both theft and burglary are serious crimes that could result in jail time and fines if you’re convicted. As such, don’t hesitate to hire a criminal defense lawyer regardless of your exact charge.

If you’re wondering which charge has more severe penalties, it depends on the value of the items you stole and whether you used a weapon or harmed someone during the crime. Simple burglary can lead to more jail time than theft of $1,000 in items from a store. However, stealing $25,000 worth of items from a person or business is usually punished more harshly than simple burglary.

If you’re worried about which charges and penalties to expect after you’ve stolen something, contact Keith T. Whiddon, Attorney at Law, LLC. When you call our Monroe law offices at 318-594-3592, we can inform you of your legal options and start working on a defense for your case.

Unlike in many states, Louisiana does not use terms such as petty theft and grand theft. However, the general theft statute does classify theft as either a misdemeanor or felony offense. The penalties for a felony offense conviction are much greater than those for a misdemeanor conviction. The difference lies in the value of the property stolen. Regardless of what type of theft offense you have been charged with, you need the help of a Monroe criminal defense lawyer who can help you retain your freedom.

Difference Between Felony and Misdemeanor Theft

For a theft offense to be considered a misdemeanor, the value of the property must be valued at less than $1,000. The penalty for a conviction of this offense includes up to six months in prison and a maximum fine of $1,000. On the other hand, felony theft charges apply when a person steals property that is valued at more than $1,000. The penalties for a felony theft conviction also vary depending on the amount of property stolen.

When the value of the stolen property is between $1,000 and $5,000, a conviction will result in up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $3,000. A conviction for stolen property valued between $5,000 and $25,000 will result in a prison sentence of up to ten years, and a maximum fine of $10,000. If the property stolen is valued at more than $25,000, a conviction can result in up to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $50,000.

Types of Theft in Monroe

Although the Louisiana statutes do not define between petty and grand theft offenses, the law does outline many other different types of theft offenses. The most common of these are as follows:

  • Theft of livestock
  • Theft of timber
  • Theft of a firearm
  • Identity theft
  • Theft of a motor vehicle
  • Robbery
  • Bank fraud
  • Carjacking
  • Forgery
  • Issuing bad checks
  • Illegal possession of stolen goods

Defenses to Theft Charges in Monroe

It is important to enlist the help of a Monroe criminal defense lawyer that can protect you from the harsh consequences associated with a conviction. The defenses an attorney may use when preparing your case are as follows:

  • You are the rightful owner of the property in question
  • You did not have the intent to steal the property
  • You were the victim of entrapment
  • The allegations against you are false
  • The valuation of the property was flawed, which could result in a dismissal or reduction of the charges

The above are just a few of the most common defenses used in theft cases. After reviewing the facts of your case, a lawyer will determine which defense is most applicable to your case.

Call Our Theft Lawyer in Monroe for Help with Your Charges

At Whiddon Criminal Defense, our Monroe theft crime lawyer knows the gravity of theft charges, and how to defend against them to give you the best chance of retaining your freedom. Call us today at 318-594-3592 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.

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