Beaufort Theft Lawyer
While stealing something seemingly small might not seem like a serious crime, it can have severe consequences. Penalties for a theft charge could include fines, court costs, and incarceration. A larceny conviction could also stay on your criminal record, affecting your personal and professional life.
If you are facing charges, it is essential to discuss your options with an experienced Beaufort theft lawyer. A seasoned criminal defense attorney at Schiller & Hamilton could assess the facts of your case and help determine your best defense.
Types of Theft in Criminal Courts
Under state law, theft is taking someone’s property without the owner’s consent or without adequately compensating them for it. However, certain kinds of stealing can involve taking someone’s identity or another type of intangible property. Sanctions in these types of cases are based on the type and value of the stolen property. A larceny defense attorney in Beaufort could help an accused person determine of which crime they are being accused.
Petit theft is considered as a less severe offense than grand theft. Typically, in petit larceny cases, the value of the stolen item is relatively low. Examples of this include shoplifting and cases where no one is threatened. If the property is worth less than $2,000, the crime is typically classified as a misdemeanor and is punishable by fines and up to one year in jail.
Grand larceny involves taking something worth more than $2,000. Charges become more severe as the value of the stolen item increases. Grand theft could also occur if someone uses a weapon or force to take an object. A conviction for grand larceny could result in up to five years in jail if the stolen property was valued between $2,000 and $10,000. For stolen items worth more than $10,000, a defendant could face substantial fines and up to ten years in prison.
Criminal sanctions are not the only consequences a person faces if convicted of stealing something. The defendant could lose their job, their family’s trust, and their ability to go to school, or their ability to qualify to lease a home. Even a minor theft conviction could show up on a criminal background for years after the court case is over. A skilled attorney in Beaufort could explain the elements of the different types of theft and how the details of a charge could impact a case’s outcome.
Could Larceny Charges Be Expunged in Beaufort?
An expungement is when a judge allows the crime to be erased from legal records after someone is found guilty. A defendant convicted of petit larceny or another theft-related offense could be eligible for expungement three years after their conviction or if they have completed their full criminal sentence. However, if they have any prior convictions on their record, a judge could deny the request for expungement.
Expungement laws are complicated, and a person seeking to clear their record should consult a capable larceny attorney in the Beaufort area to discuss whether they qualify.
Contact a Beaufort Theft Attorney Today
While stealing something may seem like a trivial crime, a conviction could impact your family, your job, and your freedom. Regardless of the value of a stolen item, judges consider larceny a serious crime and sentence it accordingly. A seasoned Beaufort theft lawyer could prepare an aggressive defense and represent you in court if you have been charged. Call Schiller & Hamilton’s skilled legal team today to discuss your case.