Columbia Theft Lawyer

Allegations of theft are some of the most common cases heard in Columbia criminal courts. This is because theft involves not just taking physical property from another person but can also include allegations of not paying for services or even receiving stolen property.

Every instance of supposed theft is a serious matter. While the least harsh cases are mere misdemeanors where a conviction is unlikely to result in jail time, aggravating factors may make a theft allegation a felony. For example, the use of force to commit a theft that results in an injury is always a felony that carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence.

No matter the type of theft charge that you are facing, a lawyer may be able to help. From shoplifting, to possession of stolen property, to robbery, a Columbia theft lawyer could craft a defense that fits your needs. Reach out to a dedicated criminal attorney today for help.

The Core Offense of Stealing

At the most basic level, it is illegal for any party to deprive the owner of property of the use of that property. This property can include physical items, cash, and assets that have a tangible value. 

The core statute that prohibits this behavior is Missouri Revised Statutes §570.030. Here, it is a class A misdemeanor to steal the property of another party without their permission. This statute includes thefts accomplished through the use of deception or deceit.

However, stealing can become a much more serious issue if a number of aggravating factors are present. For instance, the value of the items involved in the alleged theft will increase the possible penalties. The harshest examples can be class C felonies that bring a mandatory minimum prison sentence. Stealing is also more serious if the property involves cars, credit cards, or firearms. Fortunately, a Columbia theft attorney could help to craft defenses against any type of stealing accusation. 

Potential Charges Related to Theft

Of course, not every theft accusation is the same. While many people may face charges of theft, in reality, prosecutors have many tools with which to pursue convictions in court.

A collection of theft-related statutes punish behavior that is similar to stealing. These include:

  • Robbery in the second-degree Missouri Revised Statutes. §570.025: these offenses allege theft through the use of force that results in physical injury. These offenses are class B felonies.
  • Forgery under Missouri Revised Statutes §570.090: here, it is illegal to alter any writing with the purpose of defrauding another party. These charges are class D felonies.
  • Passing a bad check under Missouri Revised Statutes §570.120: this statute makes it illegal for any party to write a check with the knowledge that the check will not clear their bank account, or to issue a check that is not the genuine article. Offenses here are usually misdemeanors but may become felonies if the check is for a sufficient dollar amount.

There are a variety of theft-related charges that a person may face in Columbia’s criminal court. A Columbia theft attorney could help to explain these laws and to protect the rights of defendants.

A Columbia Theft Attorney May be Able to Help

If you are facing allegations of theft in Columbia, it is vital that you act quickly to protect yourself. Even the simplest examples of this activity are misdemeanor crimes where a conviction will create a criminal record, require you to pay a fine, or may even see you serve time in jail. More serious cases are felonies that carry a mandatory minimum prison sentence.

From simple stealing, to passing bad checks, to receipt of stolen property, to robbery, a Columbia theft lawyer stands ready to fight for you. Attorneys could take the necessary steps to explain the law, evaluate the strength of the prosecutor’s case, and to work towards your goals in and out of court. Reach out today to have legal counsel review your options confidentially.

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