Theft Charges in Louisiana
Theft Charges in Louisiana
As a criminal attorney in Metairie, I've witnessed firsthand the devastating impact that theft charges in Louisiana can have on an individual's life. The legal complexities and potential consequences of these charges can be overwhelming, making it crucial to seek an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Understanding Theft and Its Classification
Theft, in Louisiana law, is defined as the intentional misappropriation or taking of another person's property, either without their consent or through fraudulent means. The classification of theft as a misdemeanor or felony depends on the value of the stolen property.
Misdemeanor Theft: Misdemeanor theft involves property valued at less than $1,000 and typically results in penalties such as short-term jail sentences, fines, or community service.
Felony Theft: Felony theft concerns property valued at $1,000 or more and carries more severe penalties, including longer imprisonment terms, substantial fines, and potential restitution to the victim.
This distinction plays a critical role in determining the legal strategy and potential outcomes of a theft case.
While misdemeanor theft may seem like a less serious offense compared to felony theft, it is essential to recognize its significance. A conviction for misdemeanor theft can lead to consequences that significantly impact your life.
Employment Opportunities: A criminal record, even for a misdemeanor offense, can hinder your ability to secure employment. Employers often conduct background checks, and a theft conviction may raise concerns about your trustworthiness and integrity.
Housing and Living Arrangements: Landlords and property managers often consider criminal history when evaluating rental applications. A misdemeanor theft conviction could make it challenging to find suitable housing, affecting your living arrangements and stability.
Financial Implications: Beyond potential fines and court costs, a misdemeanor theft conviction can have financial repercussions. It could lead to increased insurance premiums and limit your access to loans or credit.
Real-Life Examples of Misdemeanor Theft
To illustrate the pervasiveness of misdemeanor theft, consider these real-life scenarios:
Shoplifting items worth less than $500: This common offense involves taking items from a store without paying for them.
Taking items from a friend's house without permission: This situation involves removing items from another person's possession without their knowledge or consent, even if the value is relatively low.
Accidentally failing to scan all items at self-checkout: While unintentional, this action still constitutes theft, as it involves taking items without paying the full amount.
Felony theft, involving property valued at $1,000 or more, carries significantly harsher penalties and consequences.
Lengthy Prison Sentences: Felony theft convictions can result in substantial prison sentences, ranging from several years to decades, depending on the severity of the offense.
Heavy Fines and Restitution: In addition to imprisonment, felony theft convictions often involve hefty fines and restitution payments to the victim, potentially causing significant financial strain.
Permanent Impact on Life: A felony theft conviction can have a lasting impact on your life, potentially affecting your voting rights, professional licensing, and ability to travel or hold certain positions.
Real-Life Examples of Felony Theft
Felony theft encompasses a broader range of offenses, including:
Stealing a high-value laptop from a coffee shop: This involves taking a valuable electronic device worth over $1,000.
Taking a car valued at $5,000 without the owner's consent: This offense involves removing a vehicle without the owner's knowledge or permission, exceeding the misdemeanor theft threshold.
Shoplifting items worth more than $1,500 from a department store: This action involves taking a significant amount of merchandise, exceeding the value limit for misdemeanor theft.
You need a Criminal Defense Attorney!
If you or a loved one are facing theft charges in Louisiana, the skilled criminal defense attorneys at Moisant Law Firm are here to help. Moisant Law Firm has been defending clients across Metairie and greater New Orleans against allegations like theft, shoplifting, fraud, and more.
Samantha Moisant knows the local courts and prosecutors inside and out. She will thoroughly investigate your charges, leveraging experience to build you the strongest defense. Moisant Law Firm will aggressively protect your rights at every stage, working tirelessly so you can move forward with your livelihood intact.Don't leave your future to chance. Contact our Metairie office today at (225) 803-0596 for a case review.