Theft Defense Attorney In St. Louis, Missouri
Each year, there are over 12,500 reports of theft incidents in St. Louis, Missouri, which is higher than the national average, according to AreaVibes. However, not all people accused of theft or other property crimes deserve the harsh penalties sought by the prosecution in Missouri.
In Missouri, a theft charge can be either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the stolen item and other circumstances of the incident. In addition to possible jail time, a theft conviction could remain on your criminal record for the rest of your life and affect your ability to find employment and housing.
If you or someone you know has been charged with theft in St. Louis, St. Charles or elsewhere in Missouri, consider seeking the counsel of a trustworthy theft attorney. As an experienced and reputable criminal defense lawyer, I am dedicated to offering high-quality legal representation services to my clients facing theft charges.
I am a solo practitioner at The Law Office of Gregory N. Smith, offering each and every client the personalized attention they deserve. I am prepared to fight vigilantly in each case to secure the most favorable outcome possible.
Facing Theft Charges?
Theft Under Missouri Law
In Missouri, a person can be charged with theft for appropriating (or taking) the property or services of other people without their consent. However, in order to secure a theft conviction, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant:
- Had the intent to deprive the owner of the property; or
- Appropriated the property by means of deceit or coercion
If you have no intention to return the appropriated item to its rightful owner, you could face theft charges under Mo. Rev. Stat. § 570.030. You could also be charged with theft if you received property you knew or believe was stolen.
For example, if you buy an iPhone from a friend who admitted to stealing it from a local store, you could be charged with theft for receiving stolen property.
Classification Of Theft Charges
Under Missouri law, theft charges can be broken down into different classes:
- Class D (a misdemeanor) involves the theft of property valued at less than $150.
- Class A (a misdemeanor) involves the theft of items or services with a value of between $150 and $750.
- Class E (a felony) involves stealing someone else’s animal.
- Class D (a felony) involves the theft of items or services valued at between $750 and $25,000, or when the defendant takes the property directly from the alleged victim, or the stolen property is one of those listed in Mo. Rev. Stat. § 570.030(5), including but not limited to controlled substances, firearms, motor vehicles and credit cards.
- Class C (a felony) involves stealing items or services worth over $25,000.
- Class B or greater (a felony) involves the theft of property containing liquid nitrogen or anhydrous ammonia and stealing property from financial institutions, livestock valued at over $10,000, and certain other types of criminal activity.
- Class A (a felony) involves stealing field tanks, tank trucks, rail tank cars, tank trailers and certain other items containing anhydrous ammonia.
Possible Penalties For Theft Charges
Penalties depend on the classification of the theft charge:
- Class D misdemeanor – a maximum fine of $500
- Class A misdemeanor – up to a year in jail and less than $2,000 in fines
- Class E felony – less than four years in jail and a maximum fine of $10,000
- Class D felony – up to seven years of imprisonment and no more than $10,000 in fines
- Class C felony – between three and 10 years in jail and less than $10,000 in fines
- Class B felony – a jail sentence of between five and 15 years
- Class A felony – imprisonment for up to 30 years or a life sentence
Common Theft Defenses
Defenses for theft charges depend on the specific facts of each case. Some of the most common defense strategies include:
- Mistaken identity
- The lack of intent to steal
- Claim of right
- Permission from the owner
Consider speaking with a criminal defense attorney in St. Louis, Missouri, to identify the best defense strategy in your theft case.
Theft Defense Attorney In St. Louis, Missouri
My law firm – The Law Office of Gregory N. Smith – has the necessary expertise and resources to shield you from unreasonable penalties in your theft case. I have a proven track record of success in handling theft cases in St. Louis, St. Charles and other parts of Missouri, and securing favorable outcomes for hundreds of clients. Contact me to discuss your particular situation.