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Shreveport Theft Lawyer

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Theft

Theft is the misappropriation or taking anything of value that belongs to someone else. For it to be considered theft, you must have intended to deprive the owner of the property permanently. In Louisiana, theft can be a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the value of the stolen items. If you are facing theft charges at any level, a world-class Shreveport theft lawyer from The Berg Law Firm can help you tell your side of the story and steer your case to the most favorable outcome.

Understanding Theft Charges in Shreveport, Louisiana: Legal Context

In the state of Louisiana, theft is one of several property crimes on the books. It can be charged at either a misdemeanor or felony level, mostly depending on the value of the property or assets stolen. Generally speaking, a theft of more than $1,000 is prosecuted as a felony, while lesser offenses are usually misdemeanors. However, theft of a firearm can result in more severe charges, so it’s important to understand that every case is unique.

There are multiple offenses that fall under general theft, but specific theft provisions for crimes are also found in the Louisiana Criminal Code. These “special” types of theft may be subject to harsher sentences and other unique factors. Your attorney can help you understand the specific charges that have been brought against you and the full legal implications they carry. These include:

  • Identify Theft – In the modern world, this crime is becoming more common. Identity theft is a crime that can be accomplished through either digital or in-person means, and it often has expensive and far-reaching consequences for the victim. For instance, offenders could steal Social Security numbers or bank account details, and they could make transactions or take out loans in their victim’s name.

  • Credit Card Fraud – Many people use credit and debit cards for everything from routine grocery shopping to covering major purchases. Some people and businesses are even starting to pivot away from cash transactions altogether.

    While credit cards are extremely convenient and, in many ways, safer than cash, they do pose their own risks. Louisiana aims to address these risks by imposing significant penalties on anyone who steals credit card numbers or personal financial data.

  • Theft of a Firearm – Due to the prevalence of gun use in other violent crimes, the stealing of a firearm is considered an especially serious criminal offense in Louisiana. A rigorous defense against these dire charges might involve proving that you had permission to access the firearm in question or sufficiently demonstrating that the alleged theft was a mere misunderstanding with no ill intent behind it.

  • Theft of Motor Vehicles – The theft of cars and trucks can be a challenging area of criminal law because it often overlaps with traffic law, personal injury law, insurance, and other complex topics.

Common Types of Property Crimes

In addition to general theft charges and the types of theft listed above, there are a range of other property crimes that people can be charged with in Shreveport. Many of these are related to theft, often go hand in hand with theft, or share similarities with theft, but it is crucial to understand that they are distinct charges with their own sentencing guidelines and legal implications.

Other types of property crimes in Louisiana include:

  • Burglary – Burglary often goes hand-in-hand with theft, but burglary charges can be filed without anything being stolen. The key element in a burglary is the unlawful entering of someone else’s property with the intention to commit an additional crime. An individual can be charged with burglary regardless of whether this additional crime was theft or something else–and regardless of whether the additional crime was successfully carried out.
  • Robbery – While some people use the terms theft, robbery, and burglary interchangeably, they are all distinct legal concepts. A robbery occurs when someone uses violence, threats, or force in the illegal taking of property. Robbery is essentially theft with an additional element of violence. As such, sentences are harsher than those for simple theft incidents.
  • Shoplifting – While not a distinct charge in Louisiana, shoplifting is a specific (and common) category of theft. Unless violence or threats were a factor, shoplifting incidents tend to result in misdemeanor level theft charges, as the amount of merchandise stolen by a single individual engaging in shoplifting is usually well under $1,000.
  • Embezzlement – Embezzlement is a specific type of financial theft where someone uses a trusted position to wrongly steal funds or assets for their own gain. While this most often occurs in the context of a workplace, anyone who fails to return or properly handle assets that were entrusted to them can potentially face embezzlement charges.

Note that this is by no means an exhaustive list, and there are many other potential criminal charges that can be related to the taking or misuse of property or funds. Whether you have been charged with theft, one of the offenses above, or another crime entirely, please know that The Berg Law Firm can offer high-quality criminal defense representation.

No matter how challenging your circumstances are, our attorneys can fight vigorously to have theft charges lowered or dropped to achieve the lightest possible sentence if that is the most viable strategy. Our criminal defense services are always focused on the client’s unique goals, as well as the details of each individual case.

How Much Money Has to Be Stolen to Be a Felony in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, the criteria for theft to be a felony-level charge are usually based on the value of the stolen items. Generally speaking, theft crimes involving property valued at $1,000 or more can be prosecuted as felonies, while cases involving lesser amounts are more often misdemeanors. Felony theft charges can carry significant penalties, including imprisonment and high fines.

It is also crucial to understand that this value threshold is not the only factor the court will look at. Other factors, such as the use of violence or previous criminal history, can also play a role in whether or not the state’s prosecutors will file felony-level charges.

The Berg Law Firm: A Trusted Resource for Beating Shreveport Theft Charges

If you have been charged with a theft crime, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Contact us today to discuss the specifics of your case. We have a team of compassionate and highly competent lawyers ready to help you navigate the stresses and complexities of Shreveport’s criminal justice system.

Whether you are looking to fight your charges in court or negotiate for the optimal plea deal, The Berg Law Firm has the tools and strategies to represent you effectively.

If you are in the Bossier City/Shreveport area, The Berg Law Firm is able to offer its services to you, in the event that you are in need of legal representation. We strive to offer cost-effective solutions for any criminal defense need and take pride in our ability to make world-class legal services available to Louisianans when they need our help the most. Contact us today to get started.

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