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What is Grand Theft? + Laws, Charges & Statute of Limitations

June 24, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

Grand theft is a severe crime that involves thefts of valuable property or large sums of money. Grand theft is also known as Grand Larceny. Theft crimes are divided into two categories—petty theft, which is usually misdemeanors, and the grand theft, which is generally known as felony offenses.

Unlawful taking of property or money worth $500 to $1000 or more in many states is termed as grand theft. In most countries, grand theft is listed as a felony offense because it involves stealing of valuable property.

Grand theft can be categorized into three degrees, depending on the total amount of valuables stolen. First-degree grand theft involves severe cases, while the third degree involves less severe cases.

An offender convicted with the 1st degree will receive harsher sentences as compared to the 2nd and 3rd degrees of grand theft. The 1st degrees grand theft charges require prosecution through a grand jury who decides the best verdict for the accused.

Laws and Charges of Grand Theft

Grand theft is a felony charge, and it leads to felony charges. Different states have different ways of ruling, similar grand theft cases. That is why felony charges depend on the laws of the country where the offense was committed.

For one to be charged with grand theft, the prosecutor needs to prove that the accused had the intent to steal. This can be determined by the statement recorded by the owner of the property stolen.

The prosecutor will also need to determine the value of the stolen object to know if it is a 1st degree or 3rd-degree grand theft case. The defense can argue that the property was taken by mistake though this kind of evidence can be not compelling under the law.

There are a lot of things to be taken into consideration before the accused is sentenced. The circumstance of the crime and if the defendant has any prior convictions are vital. If the accused person has ever been convicted, the felony charges will be increased, leading to harsher sentences.

It is also possible to reduce the grand theft to a misdemeanor theft depending on various facts such as an accused person accepting responsibility. Grand theft can be punished through the imprisonment of more than one year in a federal facility.

Felony charges such as grand theft may also attract a fine of more than $1000, depending on the severity of your case. Restitution will also be required to be paid directly to the property owner for the loss they encountered.

If found guilty with grand theft, the court may also order the accused to serve probation for a given period. Probation may last for a year regarding the state laws. The offender should ensure he or she fulfills the specified requirements, such as finding a new job, paying the restitution and fines on the required time.

The offender should also ensure they do not indulge in criminal activities again. The assigned probation officer will meet the offender regularly to ensure that the rules given are followed as required.

There are grave consequences that one may face once charged with a felony charge due to grand theft. Moving on with their lives once the sentence is over may seem difficult. They may find it hard getting new jobs with such criminal records since most employers will view them as untrustworthy people.

Statute Of Limitations

A statute of limitations refers to the time limit in which a legal case should be filed by a plaintiff in the court of law. It ensures that the prosecution of criminal charges starts promptly to avoid distortion of evidence, such as the eyewitness not remembering the occurrences clearly due to the passed time.

The statute of limitations for grand theft is usually five years. The prosecution should be set to begin within five years of commitment to the offense. Failure to do that the person charged can have the case dismissed by the court of law unless in exceptional occurrences.

Conclusion

Ideally, being charged with grand theft can have serious consequences, such as imprisonment. The prosecutor will need proof that the item of value belonged to someone else, and it was taken without their consent. Legal advice would be highly recommended when facing such charges. To ensure that the grand theft case is not dismissed, it would be advisable also to honor the statute of limitations.

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