The crime of theft, sometimes referred to as larceny, is the unauthorized taking and carrying away of the property of another person with the intent to permanently deprive that person of his or her property. Theft can be either a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the value of the item or items allegedly taken. Similarly, the maximum possible penalty if found guilty and convicted depends on the value of the item or items allegedly stolen. See Md. Code Criminal Law Ann. 7-104.
How Value is Determined
The value of the item or items taken is important in a theft case because the value of the item or items allegedly taken determines whether the offense is classified as a misdemeanor or felony and what maximum possible penalty applies. To determine the value of the item or items allegedly taken, a court or jury will generally look at the fair market value of the item or items at the time of the theft if possible. In cases that involve shoplifting, it is relatively common for a loss prevention officer to print out a receipt showing the price of the item or items allegedly taken as proof of the value of that item or those items. In cases that involve the theft of currency or money, the face value of the currency or money is generally used to prove its value.
Baltimore County, MD Theft Attorney
Being accused of theft is something that one should take extremely seriously because of the possible consequences if found guilty and convicted. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation at our Towson, MD office with an experienced Baltimore County, MD theft attorney if you have been charged with the crime of theft. During your free consultation, our principal attorney will discuss the facts of your case with you, explain possible defenses, and identify possible ways to avoid a conviction or minimize the consequences of a conviction if found guilty.