Theft charges in Maryland mean that you are facing considerable time in prison. The length of the prison sentence you are facing is dependent upon the classification of the charges against you, which depend in part on the value of the theft. If you are facing theft charges, you should understand some basic points about these charges and the possible penalties before deciding on a defense strategy.
Are all theft charges felony charges?
Theft charges are felony charges if the value of the items that were taken is $1,000 or more. The prison sentence that you face with a theft conviction is also dependent upon the value of the items that were taken. Thefts with a value of under $1,000 are misdemeanor charges.
What are the value ranges that determine prison terms?
A theft of up to $100 carries a jail term of up to 90 days. A theft of up to $1,000 means imprisonment of up to 18 months. A theft with a value of $1,000 to $10,000 can mean you face up to 10 years in prison. A theft with a value of $10,000 to $100,000 can mean you face up to 15 years in prison. A theft with a value of $100,000 or more can mean that you face up to 25 years in prison. On top of possible incarceration, you also face fines and restitution.
Are there any exceptions to those prison terms?
If you have been convicted of a prior theft charge, you can face enhanced penalties that would add more time to the incarceration period. It is crucial that you understand how an enhanced charge will affect your case if you are facing one. Even if you aren't facing an enhanced charge, you must ensure that you start working on a defense strategy right away.
Source: General Assembly of Maryland, "Article - Criminal Law: §7–104.," accessed Feb. 25, 2016