At Fraiberg & Pernie, PLLC, our job is to look beyond our clients’ accusations and help them evade harsh sentences for varying degrees of theft. There are four primarily recognized categories of theft: auto theft, larceny, retail fraud, and embezzlement – but our attorneys are committed to doing whatever we can to preserve your innocence and/or lessen the severity of any penalties you’re subjected to, whatever your charges may be.
In order for someone to be convicted of Unlawfully Driving Away in an Automobile (UDAA), a prosecutor must be able to prove the motor vehicle was taken without the vehicle owner’s permission, and the person accused had explicit intent to commit a criminal offense. UDAA is a felony charge that carries with it a sentence of up to four years in prison, but can be reduced to a UUMV if a professional theft attorney can prove the incident was a mistake.
To be convicted of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle (UUMV), often simplified as “joyriding,” a prosecutor must prove that the accused took or used a motor vehicle without permission, but had no intent to steal. UUMV can be considered a “high court misdemeanor,” and include punishments of up to 2 years in prison and/or a $1,500 fine, or be reduced to a traditional misdemeanor for first time offenders, with punishments of only 90 days confinement and/or a $500 fine.
Most larceny charges are broken up into several severities based on value. For example:
- A person charged with larceny of property valued at less than $200 will often be charged with a misdemeanor.
- A person charged with larceny of property valued at more than $1,000 but less than $20,000 will face a five-year felony.
- Those convicted of larceny of property valued at over $20,000, or between $1,000 and $20,000 if they have been convicted more than twice, will face a 10-year felony.
This is true for cases of standard larceny, larceny from a motor vehicle, larceny by conversion, larceny by trick, and larceny by false pretense; however, larceny in a building is a little different in the sense that it is always considered a felony offense regardless of the value of the items taken.
Retail Fraud can also be broken down by severity. For instance:
- A person who steals property valued at less than $200, will likely face 3rd degree misdemeanor charges. This is the most common type of theft crime, referring often shoplifting, and carries a minimal sentence of up to 93 days imprisonment.
- A person who steals property valued between $200 and $1,000, or who takes anything valued less than $200 but has been previously been convicted of larceny, larceny by false pretense, larceny in a building, or first or second degree retail fraud, will face 2nd degree misdemeanor charges.
- A person will be charged with a 1st degree felony if they have stolen anything valued at more than $1,000, or if they have taken anything valued between $200 and $1,000 after previous convictions of larceny, larceny by false pretense, larceny in a building, or first or second degree retail fraud.
Embezzlement, or theft from your employer, can be categorized by value as well, although the values and victims are much more specific – case in point:
- Theft valued at less than $200, warrants misdemeanor charges with up to 93 days incarceration. Theft from a charity or non-profit victim valued at less than $200, however, is elevated to a 1-year misdemeanor offense.
- Theft valued between $200 and $1,000, or less than $200 if previously convicted, earns a 1-year misdemeanor – whereas the same offense against a charity or non-profit victim will earn a 5-year felony.
- Theft valued between $1,000 and $20,000, or less than $1,000 if previously convicted, will earn a 5-year felony conviction. The same charges against a charity or non-profit victim, however, will earn a 10-year felony.
- If a person embezzles anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000, or has two or more previous convictions, they will face a 10-year felony.
- If a person embezzles more than $50,000 but less than $100,000, they will face a 15-year felony.
- The greatest felony charge of all, however, is a 20-year felony for convictions of theft exceeding $100,000.
Choosing the Right Legal Support
The number one most important thing you must remember when facing any kind of theft charges is to have reputable theft attorneys on your side. Our tremendous theft attorneys at Fraiberg & Pernie, PLLC, Matthew Fraiberg and Eric Pernie, have worked with thousands of clients over the years, successfully resolving thousands of cases. We’re more than confident we can assist you as you face your current legal challenges, whether that means proving your offenses were accidental/unintended, or doing our best to reduce your charges. We even offer adjustable payment plans to help make sure our extraordinary legal services are never out of your reach. All you have to do is give our theft attorneys at Fraiberg & Pernie, PLLC a chance. Call 248.480.0398 or fill in the form in the sidebar for your free consultation.