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THEFT & FRAUD

Theft Under $5,000:

Examples of Theft Under includes shoplifting, bicycle theft, or stealing other “minor" items from a residence when lawfully allowed to be there (otherwise it would be burglary). This type of theft is classified as theft of an item or items with a total monetary value under the amount of $5,000. Anything more than $5,000 is considered Theft Over $5000, in which case the charges will be significantly more serious and a person risks the possibility of jail.

First Offense vs. Repeat Offense

While courthouses have different laws regarding Theft Under, they all come close to the same guidelines.

A first offense is always going to be treated more lightly than someone who is a repeat offender, whether it is petty theft or not. A judge is more likely to give the maximum penalty to someone who didn’t learn his or her lesson the first time.

First Offense Options

Deferred judgment or diversion has become an option in many courthouses when it comes to Theft Under. If you have never been convicted of theft, or a similar crime, and have never participated in a diversion or deferred judgment program, you may be eligible. Eligibility is not automatic.

Breach of Trust

Unlike a person charged with Theft Under by taking an item at a store, the matter is far more serious where there is a Breach of Trust. A Breach of Trust is where a person violates a fiduciary duty owed to the victim. An example of a Breach of Trust is where an employee steals or defrauds an employer. The employee violated a trust position viz. the employer. Where fact is in play, the courts view the charge in a more serious manner.

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