Theft is defined as taking or maintaining possession of another's property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of its use or benefit or using the property for one's own benefit contrary to the rights of the true owner.
The level of charge is largely dependent on the value of property/money stolen, whether it is:
- Theft by taking, commonly known as stealing
- Theft by misappropriation, otherwise known as embezzlement
- Theft by deception
- Receipt or control over stolen property
These criminal charges fall into one of five categories and their consequences vary:
- Fifth degree: Theft is valued at $200 or less.
- Fourth degree: Theft is valued at more than $200 but less than $500.
- Third degree: Theft is valued at more than $500 but less than $1000 or the defendant has two prior convictions.
- Second degree: Theft is valued at more than $1,000 but less than $10,000.
- First degree: Theft is valued at $10,000 or more.
Theft has the distinction of being considered a "crime of dishonesty" or "crime of moral turpitude," and many employers will terminate an employee with a theft conviction on his or her record. If this kind of crime shows up on a background check, employment is often denied, as well. To make the stakes even higher, in Iowa, these convictions cannot be expunged, unless you receive a deferred judgment meaning they remain on your criminal record indefinitely. If you or a loved one is facing a charge of this nature, our attorneys are here to help.
Looking At The Evidence Carefully
With over 50 years of criminal defense experience, we are ready to look at all variables and evidence involved in your case to put forth the strongest defense possible. We encourage you to reach out to begin protecting your rights immediately.
To discuss any aspect of a theft charge with one of our Des Moines theft defense lawyers, call 515-288-3333 or email the firm.