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Petty Theft Lawyers


Being accused of stealing in Ohio may have unexpected consequences

Being charged with stealing may not seem like a big deal. Property was taken, but no one was necessarily injured, and in the case of petty theft, damages are under $1,000. However, at Yavitch & Palmer Co., L.P.A., our attorneys know from experience that even the simplest case can have unexpected consequences for a defendant, especially upon conviction. Gambling with your life and your future is not a risk worth taking. We can defend you in the courtroom, and our knowledgeable, respected legal representation can be a boon to your case.

Defining “theft” in the Ohio legal system

“Theft” is a very broad term in Ohio. It is not limited to the typical ideas of robbery or breaking and entering. According to Ohio state law, the act is defined as obtaining property or services that belong to someone else without consent or beyond the express or implied scope of consent by deception, threat or intimidation.  If you are accused of stealing under this broad definition, you need a good defense to take on the charge.

Penalties for petty theft

With property values capped at $1,000, petty theft is the least serious of potential theft charges, especially when compared to crimes like grand theft. But a conviction still carries penalties. Being convicted of such a crime can result in jail time, fines or both, which can have a disruptive effect on your life. The act is considered a first-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by the following:

  • Up to six months in jail
  • A maximum $1,000 fine

Shoplifting and petty theft

Many shoplifting charges fall into this category, unless the goods stolen exceed the defined value. To protect their property, store owners are permitted to detain someone they suspect of shoplifting with a reasonable amount of force until authorities arrive. If you are accused of shoplifting, your defense attorney can deter determine whether you were detained properly and whether your rights were respected. If not, the charges may be thrown out, or you can make a counterclaim.

If you’ve been accused of petty theft in Ohio, let us help you

Don’t let a charge like petty theft blemish your criminal record. Let the attorneys at Yavitch & Palmer Co., L.P.A. fight on your behalf. We concentrate on criminal defense cases to protect our clients’ rights and reputations. Call our downtown Columbus office at 614.224.6142 or fill out our online form to set up an appointment. We are available days, evenings and weekends as needed.

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