Have You Been Arrested for Property Theft?
Here’s what to expect.
In contrast to what the news or your favorite crime drama might lead you to believe, murders — though they might get more media attention — are, in fact, nowhere near the most common type of crime. Though it has been on the decline in the past few years, property crime is still by far the most common type of crime, and even if you think it never would — getting charged with property theft might just happen to you or someone you know. If you or one of your friends or family members have been accused of property theft — no need to stress. The most common type of property crime is theft-larceny, so let’s run through what to expect if you’ve been charged with theft, steps you can take to potentially lessen your charges, and what the consequences could be if you’re found guilty.
“A record of theft may affect your ability to get hired for certain jobs in the future, especially those in which you would interact with money,” says Bryan Antol.
The good news is, if this is your first offense, you likely won’t have to worry about jail time. Of course this can depend very much on the circumstances of what happened — such as what was taken, its monetary value, and whether or not the rightful owners are pressing charges. The bad news: you will likely have to pay some civil penalties as well as court costs. As for keeping your record squeaky clean, you may be able to keep this charge off your public record with a diversion program (such as community service as well as adhering to other requirements). If you are not able to get this charged removed from your record, it may affect your ability to get hired for certain jobs in the future, especially those in which you would interact with money.
Here are a few steps we recommend taking to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. To start off, most people want to know whether returning the item(s) or money they took will help their case. The answer is that while returning what was taken will not eliminate the possibility of you being charged with theft, but it may help get you a plea deal or lessen your charges.
Unless you feel that you have been falsely accused and/or that the item in question does, in fact, rightfully belong to you — you should consider returning the item to its owner. Most important, however, is that you do not make a statement to the police or attempt to explain what happened. Even if you know that you have been wrongly accused, your statement could be interpreted as an admission of guilt. And finally, above all, get a lawyer. They will be able to help you better assess the severity of your specific circumstances, provide counsel on what to do next, and help you develop a defense against your charges.
Our team of dedicated trial attorneys at Antol & Sherman, PC, have more than 60 years of combined legal experience and a strong track record of providing successful legal counsel. We have been practicing criminal, family and divorce, drug and DUI, and accident law in Flagstaff, Arizona and surrounding northern Arizona cities including Camp Verde, Sedona, Williams, Holbrook, Winslow, Cottonwood, Mayer, Seligman, Kingman, Page, St. Johns and more for over 30 years. Antol & Sherman, PC and their staff of lawyers would love to sit down and discuss your legal needs. Please call us at 928-241-6339, stop in today at Antol & Sherman, PC, 150 N Verde St Suite 102, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 or visit us at flagazlaw.com.