Theft Charges: Laws & Penalties in Louisiana

Louisiana Theft Lawyer

 

 

Call 225-964-6720

 

Theft charges can either be a felony or misdemeanor based on the value of the alleged stolen items. Carl Barkemeyer is an experienced Baton Rouge theft lawyer. He understands how to work towards the best result in theft cases. Even if you think you have a weak case, Mr. Barkemeyer may still be able to help. For more information on theft charge penalties, click here.

 

Theft Lawyer in Louisiana

 

Although located in Baton Rouge, we defend clients charged with various forms of theft or fraud throughout other areas of Louisiana. Carl Barkemeyer has successfully defended hundreds of clients charged with felony and misdemeanor theft in Louisiana. He knows the best defenses and best strategies to get the best result in your theft case.

 

What Defines Theft?

 

According to the state government of Louisiana, theft is defined as taking something of value from someone or someplace without their consent or through fraudulent means. The object must also be taken with the intention of permanently keeping it from the right owner. Under this definition, almost any object is subject to theft so the state has special penalties for items such as livestock, pets, crawfish, alligators, firearms, cars, identity, utilities and oil.

 

What Qualifies as Theft?

 

Theft in Louisiana, La RS 14:67, is the misappropriation or taking of anything of value which belongs to another, either without the consent of the other to the misappropriation or taking, or by means of fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations. An intent to deprive the other permanently of whatever may be the subject of the misappropriation or taking is essential.

Hiring a Baton Rouge theft lawyer is vital to getting the best result possible in your case. Mr. Barkemeyer has handled theft charges in Baton Rouge for many years. He understands how to minimize the impact of the theft charge. He is experienced in negotiating with the prosecutor. He has taken theft cases to trial when a good defense has been discovered.

 

What is Theft of Goods? “Repealed Law”

 

Theft of goods is the misappropriation or taking of anything of value which is held for sale by a merchant, either without the consent of the merchant to the misappropriation or taking, or by means of fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations. An intent to deprive the merchant permanently of whatever may be the subject of the misappropriation or taking is essential and may be inferred when a person:

(1) Intentionally conceals on his person or otherwise, goods held for sale.

(2) Alters or transfers any price marking reflecting the actual retail price of the goods.

(3) Transfers goods from one container or package to another or places goods in any container, package, or wrapping in a manner to avoid detection.

(4) Willfully causes the cash register or other sales recording device to reflect less than the actual retail price of the goods.

(5) Removes any price marking with the intent to deceive the merchant as to the actual retail price of the goods.

(6) Damages or consumes goods or property so as to render it unmerchantable.

If you have been charged with theft of goods in Baton Rouge, Mr. Barkemeyer may be able to help you even though you think you have a bad case. He knows how to successfully mitigate the case to get the best possible result.

 

What Qualifies as Theft of Firearm?

 

Theft of a firearm is the misappropriation or taking of a firearm which belongs to another, either without the consent of the other to the misappropriation or taking or by means of fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations. An intent to deprive the other permanently of the firearm is essential.

 

What are the Theft Penalties?

 

Louisiana determines a theft sentence on the dollar amount stolen by the accused. For theft of items valued at less than one thousand dollars, the offender will receive a prison sentence of at most six months or a $1000 fine. In some cases, you may receive both penalties for theft of items valued between $1000-$5000. The offender may be given a prison sentence as long as five years, a fine of $2000 or both.

 

Is Theft a Felony in Louisiana?

 

In 2016, over 70% of defendants charged with theft destruction of property or fraud were imprisoned. Stealing charges of any kind are not to be taken lightly as one may more than likely spend time in jail. In Louisiana a felony is a crime that is punishable with hard labor. So, in this state, even theft under $1000 is a misdemeanor. While theft of $1000 or more becomes a felony charge. See more here on the threshold for a theft.

 

What if there are Prior Convictions?

 

Of course, the dollar amount of the property stolen is only one of the factors the judge uses when determining an appropriate sentence. The judge also considered how many past offenses you have. If the value of the stolen property is less than $1000 for example, you’re typically given the latest punishment. However, if the offender has two more prior convictions, you may receive a prison sentence of up to two years instead of the typical six months. The punishments get more severe from there depending on the value of the stolen property and your prior convictions. Some items also carry heavier punishments if stolen. Firearm theft for an example can lead up to ten years of imprisonment even without prior convictions.

 

What is Felony Theft and What to do if Charged?

Theft can be a touchy subject when it comes to what should be considered petty theft and what should be deemed a felony. While retailers would rather have all theft tagged as felony, state laws tend to consider that someone who stole a box of cookies shouldn’t spend as much time in jail as someone who stole an iPhone 11. The truth is, if all theft were to be considered felonies, the number of people being locked up daily could triple.

Of course, this is not to say that some theft crimes are okay while others aren’t. In general, different states have different thresholds for felony theft. While some states will have you serving a 2-year sentence for stealing an old Motorola phone, other states will not consider this serious enough to spend 2 years in jail. This is because someone who has been convicted of felony theft will find it extremely difficult to get a job or move on with their life after serving jail time. Thus, it becomes necessary to set a boundary between what is classified as misdemeanor theft and what is felony theft.

 

What Is Felony Theft?

In general, a crime is considered either a misdemeanor or a felony. A felony is much more serious than a misdemeanor and will result in more jail time and higher fines as the case may be. In fact, whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony has a significant effect on how you will be tagged for the rest of your life. For instance, someone who stole a loaf of bread is less likely to be tagged a thief compared to someone who stole a car.

In Louisiana, specifically, it is considered felony theft if the value of the stolen property is $1000 or greater.

·      If the alleged stolen goods are worth less than $1000 dollars with no prior shoplifting convictions: If a person steals goods worth less than $1000 and has no previous shoplifting history, he/she may either pay a fine of $1000 and/or spend 6 months in jail.

·      If the alleged stolen goods are worth $1000 dollars or more but less than $5000 with no prior shoplifting case: if a person shoplifts goods worth $1000 or more but less than $5000 and has had no prior shoplifting cases, he/she may be looking at either pay a fine of $1000 and/or spend up to two years in jail. This is a felony.

·      When the alleged value of goods amounts to a value of $5000 dollars or more, but less than a value of $25,000 dollars, the offender shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than 10 years, or may be fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or both.

·      If the alleged goods amount to a value of $25,000 dollars or more, the defendant shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not more than 20 years, or may be fined not more than fifty thousand dollars, or both.

·      If the amount is less than $1000 but the defendant has two prior theft convictions, the third becomes a felony punishable by two years in prison.

·      Value is added up: When there has been a misappropriation or taking by a multiple separate acts of the defendant, the total of the amount of the thefts shall determine the grade of the offense.

 

Penalties for Felony Theft

Felony theft is a big deal and the punishments can be quite intense. There are different types of penalties that come with being convicted of felony theft, some in combination with others. These also differ depending on the state and the circumstances determined through investigation.

For one, jail time is always a possibility for a defendant of felony theft. Depending on the value of the property stolen and the severity of the felony in terms of degrees, an offender can be sentenced to anything between 6 months to 20 years in prison. If the theft is not considered serious or too close to a misdemeanor, the offender may not have to do any jail time but pay a large fine.

Fines are another harsh penalty imposed by state laws. Of course, almost every offender would rather pay a fine than do jail time. But then, these fines often come in addition to jail time so they don’t exactly have a choice. Fines can range between $1000 to $150,000 depending on the severity of the crime. Other penalties include restitution and probation.

 

What to Do If Charged with Felony Theft?

Felony theft charges should not be taken for granted. If you happen to be charged with felony theft, the first thing to do is seek an attorney who will advise you on the next steps to take and defend you when the time comes. Even if you have a clean criminal record and were actually wrongly charged, you cannot be assured that you will be let off that easily. It is important to have a criminal defense lawyer who is well-versed with local state laws to back you up.

While felony theft is considered a serious crime, a knowledgeable attorney can make defenses good enough to get the charges dropped or the penalties reduced. Don’t hesitate hiring the best attorney in Louisiana for your case like Carl Barkemeyer when charged with felony theft.

 

Shoplifting in Louisiana

We defend clients with shoplifting charges in Louisiana. If you’re watching this video, it may be because you have received a summons for shoplifting.  The first thing I want to say is that, with my help, you will get through this. Your criminal record may be able to get cleaned up after getting a shoplifting charge on it if your case is handled correctly. 

 

Shoplifting falls under the crime of theft in Louisiana. There is no formal charge called Shoplifting in Louisiana. Therefore, your summons will say Theft on it. Theft is the misappropriation or taking of anything of value which belongs to another, either without the consent of the other to the misappropriation or taking, or by means of fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations.

 

An intent to deprive the other permanently of whatever may be the subject of the misappropriation or taking is essential.  Some of the situations that occur which may support intent to deprive is when the defendant changes a price tag, conceals items within another item or purse, or simply by not scanning the item in the self-checkout.  The penalties at the time of this video vary.

 

Theft can either be a felony or misdemeanor depending on the alleged amount of the stolen items. If the items amount to less than a value of one thousand dollars, the offender shall be imprisoned for not more than six months, or may be fined not more than one thousand dollars, or both. So, this is a misdemeanor charge. If the amount of goods is $1000 or more, it becomes a felony.  Also, if the offender in such cases has been convicted of theft two or more times previously, upon any subsequent conviction he shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than two years, or may be fined not more than two thousand dollars, or both. Therefore, it becomes a felony if the defendant had two previous convictions for theft.

 

There are ways to defend and mitigate these charges. Even if you feel like you don’t have a good case to defend, I can still help by either finding a good defense or working a deal with the prosecutor. Our goal will be to protect your criminal record to minimize any negative impact it may have for the rest of your life.

 

How We Help Clients Charged with Theft?

 

If you or a loved one has had stealing charges leveled against them, you need to hire a legal representation immediately. Theft charges can be difficult to overcome. Mr. Barkemeyer has defended clients charged with theft for over 14 years.  He understands that every theft charge is different and every client is in a different situation.  There are many ways to approach these types of charges.  Many times, the client has a clean record and has made an embarrassing mistake.  The client could have a job and personal life he needs to protect.  We know how to help our clients to protect his record and personal life.  Feel free to contact us if you need a criminal defense lawyer for a theft charge in Louisiana.  We have represented clients charged with theft in many areas of Louisiana including, Baton Rouge, Livingston, Tangipahoa, Covington, Shreveport, Lake Charles, Monroe, Alexandria, Lafayette, Ascension, and New Orleans. Contact Baton Rouge Theft Lawyer Carl Barkemeyer at (225) 964-6720.

 

Contact Louisiana Theft Lawyer Carl Barkemeyer at (225) 964-6720.

"Great attorney - very detailed and knowledgeable.
I will recommend him to anyone and if needed I'd consult with him again.!"