A defendant who is alleged to have stolen a firearm or vehicle may face an automatic felony charge regardless of how much the item was worth. The same may be true for those who steal financial information or chemicals that are used to create controlled substances. If a person takes an item by force, that individual could also be charged with a felony.
A person’s criminal history may be relevant when determining his or her sentence. This may be true even if a person hasn’t been convicted of theft or similar crimes in the past. Those who are convicted of theft may face problems in their personal lives as the conviction may show up in a background check. If a company finds out about a theft conviction, it may remove an applicant from consideration for employment.
Those who are charged with theft have a variety of legal rights. For instance, they have the right to remain silent, the right to legal counsel and a right to ask for a jury trial. A legal representative may be able to have defendant statements or other evidence suppressed before or during a trial, which may result in a charge being thrown out. It may also result in a defendant receiving a favorable plea deal.