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
- Bank fraud
- 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.