Ravenna Theft Lawyers

Hiring a lawyer is crucial if you’re charged with theft.

At Erb Legal, our defense attorneys take theft cases seriously because we know how a conviction impacts people’s life. Whether it’s a misdemeanor for shoplifting, fraud, or felony theft, our theft lawyers will provide in-depth knowledge of the justice system, protect your rights, minimize possible consequences, and build a tailored defense for the best possible outcome.

A theft lawyer is invaluable so you can move past a Portage County theft charge. Contact Erb Legal for a case review.


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Theft & Larceny in Portage County, OH

Theft and larceny offenses in and around Ravenna can take several forms. Generally, the severity of the crime is related to the amount involved, but some standard theft charges include:

  • Grand Theft – Under Ohio Rev. Code § 2913.02, it is unlawful to knowingly exert control over services or property valued between $5,000 and $100,000 without the owner’s consent. Grand theft is usually a fourth-degree felony.
  • Petty Theft – Petty theft refers to stealing or knowingly exerting control over services or property valued under $500 without the owner’s consent. This offense is a misdemeanor of the first degree.
  • Theft – Someone can face general theft charges if the value of what’s taken is between $500 and $5,000. This offense is a felony of the fifth degree.
  • Aggravated Theft – Aggravated theft involves the theft of services or property valued at $100,000 or more. Aggravated theft is a third-, second-, or first-degree felony, depending on the amount.
  • Receiving Stolen Property – Under Ohio Rev. Code § 2913.51, it is a crime to retain, receive, or dispose of property that you know was obtained through theft. Receiving stolen property can range from a misdemeanor to a felony based on the value.
  • Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle – Ohio Rev. Code § 2913.03 prohibits knowingly using certain motor vehicles without the owner’s consent. Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle is punished as either a misdemeanor or felony based on the value and if the victim is elderly.
  • Robbery – Under Ohio Rev. Code §02, defined robbery as taking personal property from another against their will while using physical force or threat of physical force. Robbery can be a first-, second-, or third-degree felony based on the facts and whether a weapon was involved.
  • Burglary – Ohio Rev. Code 2911.12 makes it a crime to trespass in an occupied structure with the intent to commit a crime through force, stealth, or deception. Burglary is punished as either a misdemeanor or felony based on the circumstances.

As you can see, many theft crimes in Portage County can be misdemeanors or felonies. Additionally, you could face federal theft charges and state crimes if items are transferred across state lines or valued at over $100,000.

Shoplifting in Portage County

Ohio does not have specific laws that prohibit retail theft. However, shoplifting is a form of theft that occurs when someone steals merchandise from a store. The penalties for shoplifting vary depending on the value stolen. If the value exceeds $500, the shoplifter can face misdemeanor charges for petty theft. If the value is greater, the shoplifter can be charged with a felony.

No matter the value of the stolen property, shoplifting is a serious offense. Getting a lawyer is crucial if you have been charged with shoplifting. A theft attorney can help you understand the charges, and potential consequences, develop a defense and negotiate to get the best possible outcome, which may include a reduction or dismissal.

Ravenna Fraud Charges

Related to theft, fraud in Ohio is any deliberate act of deception to gain something of value. Some common types of fraud in Ohio are identity theft, credit card fraud, insurance fraud, tax fraud, and mortgage fraud. Generally, fraud is a felony, and if a large amount of money is involved, your sentence, if convicted, can be up to ten years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Portage County, OH Theft Penalties

Under Ohio law, the sentencing guidelines for theft-related crimes in Portage County, Ohio, are as follows:

  • First-degree misdemeanors: 180 days in jail and fines as high as $1,000
  • Fifth-degree felonies: Up to One year in prison and fines as high as $2,500
  • Fourth degrees felonies: Up to 18 months in prison and fines as high as $5,000
  • Third-degree felonies: Up to five years in prison and fines as high as $10,000
  • Second-degree felonies: Up to eight years in prison and fines as high as $15,000
  • First-degree felonies: Up to 10 years in prison and fines as high as $20,000

Under Ohio Rev. Code § 2307.61, property owners and merchants also can pursue civil penalties against someone convicted of theft crimes against their business. If successful, they can recover court costs, legal fees, and the volume of items taken.

Living with a Theft Conviction

The consequences of a theft conviction don’t end with restitution and time behind bars. Considered a crime of dishonesty, various other ways living with theft on your criminal record will negatively impact your life – possibly for the rest of your life:

  • Difficulty Finding Employment: A theft conviction can make it more difficult to find a job, mainly if it involves handling money or working in a position of trust.
  • Limited Career Opportunities: Even if you can find employment, you may be limited in your career opportunities due to your conviction. Certain professions, such as law or finance, may be off-limits to you.
  • Strained Relationships: A theft conviction can strain relationships with family and friends, particularly if they view you as having betrayed their trust.
  • Financial Consequences: A theft conviction can have economic consequences, such as fines, court costs, and restitution. These expenses can be challenging to manage, particularly if you are also struggling to find employment.
  • Social Stigma: A social stigma can be associated with a theft conviction, leading to shame and embarrassment.
  • Limited Housing: Some landlords may be hesitant to rent to someone with a theft conviction, mainly if the rental property is in a high-crime area.

Possible Defenses to Theft

Contrary to what prosecutors or the police may say, being charged with theft in Portage County is not that open and shut. These are fact-based offenses, and if the value involved is not accurate, or there’s doubt about your intent, you can raise a strong defense and work toward a favorable result.

A successful theft defense could mean reducing a felony theft charge to a misdemeanor, dismissing the case for lack of evidence, or mitigating the harm to your life, so you avoid jail. For many first-time, non-violent theft offenses, you may be eligible for a pretrial diversion program, which can end with getting your theft charge reduced or dismissed if you complete the program.

Common Theft Defenses

  • Lack of Intent to Commit Theft: This argues that the accused did not intend to commit the theft. A person must intend to permanently deprive another person of their property to be guilty of theft.
  • Mistake of Fact: This defense suggests that the accused did not know that the property belonged to someone else and therefore did not intend to commit theft.
  • Claim of Right: This argues that the accused believed that they had a legal or rightful claim to the property and therefore did not have the intent to commit theft.
  • Necessity: This suggests that the accused committed the theft out of necessity, usually to prevent harm or loss to the accused or another person.
  • Lack of Probable Cause: Probable cause is a reasonable belief that a person committed a crime. An arrest or search is considered illegal without probable cause in a theft case.
  • Illegal Search and Seizure: The police search and seize a person’s property without a valid warrant or probable cause. It violates a person’s Fourth Amendment rights, and if an illegal search in a theft case is revealed, it can result in a weakened case or a dismissal.
  • Asportation: This is moving an item from one place to another without the owner’s consent. It is still a crime, but less severe than most theft offenses.

These are just a few possible defenses to a theft charge, but they all require a skilled defense lawyer to present them successfully. To effectively defend yourself against a theft charge, you need a lawyer to investigate the facts of your case and argue the defense of your choice. Your lawyer can also help you determine the consequences of a guilty plea and advise you on the best course of action to take.

Theft Defense Attorney: FAQs

To help you better understand theft, the penalties, and what to expect if you’re arrested for stealing, we have answered some of the frequently asked questions surrounding theft charges in Portage County, Ohio. If you have additional questions, contact our Ravenna theft lawyers.

What is the Theft of Services?

Theft of services is committed when someone obtains services — as opposed to goods — by deception, force, threat, or other unlawful means. Common examples include leaving a restaurant without paying or stiffing your cab or uber driver. To be convicted, the state must prove you had the intent to defraud the owner of their property or services.

When Is Theft a Felony?

It can be. In Ohio, when the property or services in question is valued at $1000 or more, theft can be charged as a felony.

Do Stores File Charges for Shoplifting?

Under Ohio law, a store can decide whether to file formal theft charges against those suspected of shoplifting. In some cases, stores may contact the police for you to be arrested. Other times, a business may handle the shoplifting in-store without involving the police or court system.

Will I Always Go to Jail for Theft?

No, jail is not mandatory in theft cases. The consequences for a theft conviction vary depending on the severity of the offense, the value involved, and other factors. In some cases, you may be eligible for a diversion program, required to pay fines and restitution, sentenced to community service or probation, or a combination. In more severe cases, jail time may be imposed.

Consult A Ravenna Theft Lawyer

Whether you’ve been accused of theft in Aurora, Ravenna, Streetsboro, or anywhere in Portage County, Ohio, it is essential 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 result that lets you put theft charges behind you.