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When you’ve been accused of shoplifting, fraud, or theft in Summit County, the consequences of a conviction could haunt you for life. Even if you avoid jail, it’s hard to get hired with a theft conviction on your record. An Akron criminal defense attorney can help you deal with things properly.
Get help from an experienced and dedicated Akron theft attorney. Contact Erb Legal for a free and confidential case review today.
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Theft offenses in and around Akron can take several forms. Generally, the severity of the crime is related to the amount allegedly stolen, but some common theft charges include:
Most Ohio theft crimes are misdemeanors but may be charged as felonies depending on the value in question. Additionally, if items are transferred across state borders or valued at over $100,000, you could face federal charges and state crimes.
Typical consequences for a theft conviction include restitution, fines, community service, probation, and possible jail or prison time. Under Ohio law, the sentencing guidelines for theft-related crimes are as follows:
Under Ohio Rev. Code § 2307.61, property owners and merchants have the authority to pursue civil penalties against those convicted of theft offenses committed against their business. If successful, they can recover court costs, legal fees, and the volume of items taken.
You likely need a highly experienced defense attorney to determine how to approach your case and your best chance at resolving things in your favor. A successful theft defense could mean reducing your theft charge to a misdemeanor, having the case dismissed, or mitigating the harm to your life.
For many first-time, non-violent theft charges, you may be able to enter into a pretrial diversion program. After meeting the program’s terms, the charges against you can be reduced or dismissed entirely.
However, if the state’s prosecuting attorney refuses to enter into a plea agreement with you, presenting a powerful defense may be the best way to challenge the charges against you.
Some common defenses used against theft charges are:
To help you better understand the charges against you, the possible penalties, and what’s to come, we have answered some of the more frequently asked questions surrounding theft charges in Akron below. If you have additional questions, contact Erb Legal.
Theft of services is committed when someone obtains services — as opposed to goods — by deception, force, threat, or other unlawful means, i.e., without compensating the provider.
A typical example is leaving a restaurant without paying. To be found guilty, the prosecuting attorney must prove you had the intent to defraud the owner for their property or services.
Theft can be charged as a felony in Ohio when the property or services in question is valued at $1000 or more.
Under Ohio law, merchants and store employees can decide whether or not to file formal theft charges against those suspected of shoplifting.
In some cases, stores may contact the police and move forward with formal criminal charges. In others, the merchants elect to handle the shoplifting in-store without having to involve the police or court system.
When you have been accused of theft, it is important to take it seriously. A theft conviction is not something you want on your record. With effective legal representation from Erb Legal, you can prepare a compelling defense and work towards a favorable result that lets you put theft charges behind you.
Fill out our contact form or call 330-249-1778 to schedule your free and confidential case evaluation.