Theft is a very common conviction in the United States as well as in the state of Louisiana. It is usually committed to gain some monetary value by either stealing money or selling the items stolen that are under the possession of someone else. Theft is never a good idea, however, many times it comes down to people stealing necessities like food or clothes just to survive. Because of the rising costs of most products in the country, theft convictions are on the rise and it is important to defend yourself in court if you have been charged with it. Theft charges almost always carry a strict punishment along with them and they can cause quite a burden on those convicted of the charges. However, they can be defended in court especially with the help of a theft defense lawyer like Carl Barkemeyer, criminal defense attorney. Mr. Barkemeyer has extensive knowledge of theft laws in Louisiana and has taken on and defended many theft cases in Louisiana and the past. It is important to seek legal help when you have been charged with theft so that a defense case can start to be built so that you can achieve a positive result for yourself.
Theft is often used as a generic term when discussing robbery or stealing in everyday life. However, theft has a very specific legal definition that is defined by the Louisiana state government and helps determine what is contained in a theft charge in the state. In Louisiana theft is defined as follows:
Theft is the misappropriation or taking of anything of value which belongs to another, either without the consent of the other to the misappropriation or taking, or by means of fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations. An intent to deprive the other permanently of whatever may be the subject of the misappropriation or taking is essential.
The legal definition of theft in Louisiana also has another subset relating to the theft of firearms which is defined as the following:
Theft of a firearm is the misappropriation or taking of a firearm which belongs to another, either without the consent of the other to the misappropriation or taking or by means of fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations. An intent to deprive the other permanently of the firearm is essential.
One important part of the legal definition of theft is that there must be an intention to deprive the other person of the item that was taken. That means if you accidentally take something that you thought was free or didn’t belong to anyone then you most likely would not be charged with theft. For instance, accidentally not scanning an item in a Walmart self-checkout may lead to a Walmart theft charge. To be charged with theft, you must purposely be trying to deprive the other person of that item, not that you were just trying to borrow it and then give it back shortly. This distinction is very important when it comes to your case, especially because it can be used to help create a defense that could potentially help you win your case when charged with theft.
Theft can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony in the state of Louisiana. This determination depends on the monetary amount of the item stolen, and each type of the charge carries its own punishments and theft penalties along with it. The punishments for each distinction are as follows:
value of the alleged stolen item(s) Penalty
$25,000 or more 0-20 years in prison
$5000 - less than $25,000 0-10
$1000 - less than $5000 0-5
less than $1000 0-6 months
As you can see, the punishment for a misdemeanor theft are quite minor, and may result in either no jail time or only a maximum of 6 months. However, as the monetary value of the item stolen continues to rise, so does the punishment. The maximum punishment being up to 20 years of prison time for an item stolen that is valued at $25,000 or more. This is a very severe and life-altering punishment that should be tried to be avoided by setting up a good defense for your case and fighting for your freedom in court. You’ll notice that each distinction has a minimum time of 0 years which means there can be a lot of leeway and certain circumstances that will determine your punishment for being convicted of theft charges. All in all, it is important to understand which distinction you would fall under if you happen to be convicted of the theft charges in Louisiana.
First off, it is very important to seek out legal advice if you have recently been charged with theft in the Livingston Parish area of Louisiana. Quickness is key in helping to setup a case that will defend you well in court. There are different ways to help defend theft charges in court which can include looking at the evidence and determining whether there was an actual intent to deprive the other person of the item that was taken. Negotiations can also be had with the prosecutor to help lessen the penalties, especially for less serious theft cases in which the impact or monetary value was minimal and the charge is more about sending a message to the defendant to try and teach them a lesson.
Thankfully, Carl Barkemeyer is a very experienced criminal defense attorney who has successfully defended many theft cases in the past in Louisiana. Because of his experience, Mr. Barkemeyer is very efficient at setting up a good defense for your case and attempting all avenues of defense so that you have the best chance at defending your freedom in court. If you have recently been charged with theft in the Livingston Parish or Denham Springs area, contact us at (225) 964-6720 for immediate legal advice or representation.