What is Shoplifting and Theft in Springfield, Missouri?
In Missouri, stealing and related offenses are congregated under the same section of law. The law in Missouri that discusses Springfield felony shoplifting and misdemeanor shoplifting in Springfield are under MO Rev Stat § 570.030 (2015). It says:
A person commits the offense of stealing if he or she:
(1) Appropriates property or services of another with the purpose to deprive him or her thereof, either without his or her consent or by means of deceit or coercion;
(2) Attempts to appropriate anhydrous ammonia or liquid nitrogen of another with the purpose to deprive him or her thereof, either without his or her consent or by means of deceit or coercion; or
(3) For the purpose of depriving the owner of a lawful interest therein, receives, retains or disposes of property of another knowing that it has been stolen, or believing that it has been stolen.
Theft or shoplifting will occur when an individual takes property from another, without their consent, and they mean to deprive the true owner of his or her property. This is a simple law to understand for any person. From a young age, we were all taught that taking something from someone else is wrong. The same teachings from our youth are applied to the law. Taking another’s property will lead to consequences.
It should also be clarified that it is only theft if at the time you take the property that you have no intention of returning the property. If you do have intentions to return the property to its true owner at the time it is taken, then theft has not occurred. This could be described in common language as borrowing. It occurs when you use someone’s property with the intent to return it when you are finished with it.
Shoplifting or theft in Springfield can have different penalties associated with them. This will depend upon the circumstances around the theft and what property was stolen. This will either lead to felony shoplifting in Springfield or misdemeanor shoplifting in Springfield. Either can bring severe penalties, where you will want to seek the advice and help of an experienced law firm, like Missouri Legal.
What are the Penalties of Misdemeanor and Felony Shoplifting in Springfield?
Penalties will usually be divided into misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanors are a lesser penalty in comparison to a felony. They will come with a jail sentence that will be less than a year and a smaller fine that will have to be paid. On the other hand, a felony can be severe. They will come with incarceration times that will exceed a year and hefty penalties. Receiving a felony will usually be based upon the circumstances surrounding the theft and the property that was stolen.
Springfield Felony Shoplifting and Springfield Misdemeanor Shoplifting
To easily understand the penalties associated with certain theft acts in Missouri, Nolo has explained the certain acts by classes using the state statues. It is as follows:
- Class A Misdemeanor Theft– Missouri law states that a Class A Misdemeanor occurs when the property stolen is valued at less than $500. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 570.030. Also, any other theft that does not fit into a specific section is classified as Class A. In addition, the law states that the term of imprisonment will not be more than a year and will not carry a fine that is more than $1,000.
- Class D Felony Theft– This class is dealing with the theft of an animal that belongs to another person. You can also have a Class D felony when, within the last 10 years, an individual has been convicted of two or more separate theft offenses. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 570.040. The term of imprisonment cannot be more than four years, and the fine cannot exceed $5,000.
- Class C Felony Theft– It is a Class C felony if the property that was stolen is worth $500 to $25,000. The term of imprisonment cannot be less than one year or more than seven years. Also, the fine cannot be more than $5,000.
- Class B Felony Theft– This occurs when the property stolen exceeds $25,000. The term of imprisonment will not be less than five years and not more than 15 years.
As you can see felony shoplifting in Springfield and misdemeanor shoplifting in Springfield can bring hefty penalties both in fines and imprisonment. Knowing what the law states can act as a deterrent before shoplifting can occur. Making the decision to steal from others can be life changing. It can mean anywhere from months to 15 years in prison, depending on the circumstances surrounding the theft.
How can an attorney help?
Criminal defense attorneys can help you in numerous ways when faced with felony shoplifting in Springfield or misdemeanor shoplifting in Springfield. Experienced criminal defense attorneys, like those at Missouri Legal, have spent years honing their skills in order to protect the freedoms of others. These skills take years and years of school and hands on experience to learn. Some of these skills are being able to communicate effectively with their clients, with opposing counsel, and with the judge.
Additional skills are for expressing arguments in verbal as well as in written form. It also helps to now that you will have an attorney that knows and understands the law. Understanding the law and how it is applied to the facts of the case is essential to present valid arguments that can help you succeed. You will get this from an experienced attorney that has gained the necessary skills.
All of the skills are gained in order to help you with the challenges and legal consequences that you face. Experienced attorneys will possess all of these skills and be able to put them to use in a way that will best help you. These attorneys will also know which arguments should be made for a given situation. Creating a valid and well thought out argument can be the difference of you getting a lesser penalty or no penalty at all. Not only is their sound legal advice needed, but also the comfort that an experienced attorney can bring.
Fear and worry often accompany a theft crime and the consequences that follow. Having an experienced attorney can allow you to have some peace of mind while trudging through the legal process. Overall, an attorney can make going through the judicial process a little more bearable. They will also be someone to rely on while going through a difficult time. Also, they can help you make the decisions and arguments necessary to avoid the penalties that you can avoid. If you have any questions or concerns dealing with a theft crime, you should contact the criminal defense lawyers at Missouri Legal today.