Felony Theft Explained
Irrespective of the way in which states classify different types of theft, theft is also addressed by state laws by how severe it is. There can be differentiation in criminal laws based on whether a crime that is subject to punishment is regarded as a felony or a misdemeanor. It is to be noted that that the severity of any felony crime is always more in comparison to a misdemeanor crime. As such, the penalties associated with the former is always more.
Laws of the individual states determine whether a theft crime should be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. Typically, felonies are defined by sates by the price of the property theft or some other factors associated with the crime. At times, felony theft is also called grand theft. However, it is not an accurate description always as there could be a few grand theft charges that are misdemeanor offenses.
Types of Felony Theft:
- Categorical felonies: There are a few scenarios where a person can be charged with a felony theft although the property they rob is less than the minimum amount specified by the state. Several states have made laws that also classify felonies by the kind of property stolen.
- Property value felonies: To qualify as felony theft, a property value should be higher than the minimum amount set by the law of the state. Usually, the value is between 500-1000 USD.
- Felony degrees: Apart from distinguishing between felony theft and misdemeanor, states in America also distinguish between various felony theft degrees.
- Criminal history felonies: There are some states where a repeat offender may also be charged with an act of felony theft although the stolen property’s value has not crossed the limit of a felony.
Felony Theft Jail Time and Punishments
The penalties related to the conviction of a felony theft are more severe than a misdemeanor penalty. Often, felonies are associated with imprisonment of 12 months or more or 1,000 USD minimum as a fine. However, actual penalties associated with a felony conviction may vary drastically based on the circumstances of an individual case and the state.Fines: Convictions related to felony theft have the possibility of paying fines. A fine can be about 1,000 USD or even 150,000 USD based on the severity of the case.
Prison: A person may have to serve a period of imprisonment for many years if found guilty of felony theft. First-time offenders found guilty for committing the lowest degree of felony theft may have to serve a prison sentence ranging from many months to 2-3 years. On the other hand, repeat offenders or people convicted with severe felony theft offenses may have to serve a jail term for many years. The imprisonment can also last from 20 years or even more.
Probation: A person found guilty of felony theft can be sent on probation apart from, or separately from jail time or fines. While terms for probation can vary, typically they include certain requirements like getting in touch with one of the probation officers regularly, paying child-support if required, maintaining a job, not violating laws anymore, or not being in ouch past crime associates. In case any terms of probation are violated by the convicted, the probation sentence can be increased or reversed by the court.
Restitution: Aside from paying fines, a court can also ask a convicted individual to pay restitution. It is money paid to the property owner as a compensation for the loss incurred by him/her. A convicted may have to pay restitution apart from the fine imposed on them.