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Understanding Felony Theft in Maryland

man being taken by the police for felony theft in maryland

The laws regarding theft, particularly felony theft, are designed to protect individuals and businesses from financial loss and ensure justice for victims. However, a line exists between a misdemeanor and a felony theft charge. Knowing this information is crucial if you or someone you know is facing charges of felony theft in Maryland.

Navigating the complexities of felony theft laws can be daunting. This article will delve into the specifics of felony theft laws in Maryland and discuss the possible penalties for breaking them.

What Constitutes Felony Theft in Maryland?

In Maryland, theft is when one unlawfully takes someone else’s property with the intent to deprive them of it permanently. Felony theft occurs when the value of the stolen property exceeds a certain amount or falls under specific categories outlined in the law. (Md. Code, Crim. Law § 7-104

Theft becomes a felony in Maryland under the following circumstances:

  • Value Threshold — If the stolen property is valued over $1,500, it is considered felony theft. This threshold applies to the total value of the stolen items within a single scheme or course of conduct.
  • Specific Categories—Certain types of property, regardless of their value, are automatically considered felony theft. These include vehicles, firearms, and controlled substances.

Types of Theft Crimes in Maryland

Some common types of theft crimes in Maryland include the following:

  • Shoplifting — Taking merchandise from a store without paying or altering price tags to pay less than the actual price.
  • Larceny — Taking another person’s property without their permission and intending to keep it permanently.
  • Embezzlement — Taking money or property that was trusted to you and using it for personal gain.
  • Receiving Stolen Property — Receiving property you knew was stolen with the intent to benefit from the stolen property.
  • Identity Theft — Using someone else’s personal information without their consent to commit fraud or other crimes.
  • Auto Theft — Stealing a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

Some actions could be considered theft crimes but may not be classified as such per Maryland law. These actions may include:

  • Borrowing another person’s property with their permission to return it. This typically isn’t considered theft. However, it could be classified as theft if you don’t return the property as agreed.
  • Finding lost property but keeping it without attempting to find the owner isn’t a theft unless the person who found the property knows who the owner is or could quickly determine who the owner is and fails to do so.
  • If you make a mistake and unintentionally take another person’s property, thinking it was yours or having a legal right to it may be considered theft if you fail to return the property to the rightful owner after you realize your mistake.

Consequences of Felony Theft in Maryland

The consequences of a felony theft charge vary based on the circumstances of the case. Here are the possible penalties in Maryland.

  • Property value of between $1,500 – $25,000 — A fine of up to $10,000, up to five years in prison, or both. The stolen property must also be returned to the owner, or the owner must be paid for the property’s value.
  • Property value of between $2,500 – $100,000 — A fine of up to $15,000, up to ten years in prison, or both. The stolen property must also be returned to the owner, or the owner must be paid for the property’s value.
  • Property value over $100,000 — A fine of up to $25,000, up to twenty years in prison, or both. The stolen property must also be returned to the owner, or the owner must be paid for the property’s value.

The courts may also take into consideration the criminal history of the defendant. If they have prior theft convictions, they may face more severe penalties.

Turn to Jeremy Widder Law for Expert Legal Representation

Felony theft in Maryland carries serious consequences that can significantly impact your life. If you’re ever accused of felony theft, it’s essential to seek the guidance of a qualified criminal defense attorney who can help protect your rights and advocate on your behalf.

At Jeremy Widder Law, we will be your advocate. We have represented hundreds of clients charged with a variety of offenses. Our firm’s primary focus is criminal defense, so you can rest assured knowing you are receiving top-notch legal representation backed by years of experience.

Contact us today for a consultation.

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