Being accused of theft crimes can be unsettling; being convicted for one can be life-changing. No matter what the circumstances or how overwhelmed you are, you should be aware that this is the time when being proactive is essential. If you are in Silver Spring, Maryland or its surrounding counties such as Montgomery County, Howard County, Prince George County or Anne Arundel County, the best first step you can take is to contact the Law Office of Asher Weinberg. I am an accomplished criminal defense attorney respected for giving excellent legal counsel at a fair price. My mission is to defend you vigorously from prosecution in order to protect your reputation, your finances, and your freedom.
Defining Theft Crimes in Maryland
In Maryland, a theft crime occurs when an individual knowingly takes the property of another with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of it. The Law Office of Asher Weinberg handles a broad range of theft charges, including:
- Burglary — breaking into the premises of another with intent to commit theft
- Robbery — stealing while putting the victim under threat of personal harm
- Shoplifting — taking property from a store without paying for it (usually petty larceny)
- Grand theft — taking property of great value, typically over $500 or $1,000
- Auto theft — taking a vehicle that doesn’t belong to you
- Writing or using bad checks (checks with no money in the bank to back them)
- Theft of services — not paying for tutoring, landscaping, restaurant, or other services
Criminal Penalties in Maryland
Penalties for theft offenses vary according to the circumstances of the particular crime. I always evaluate cases individually and always assume you are innocent until proven guilty. My job is to provide you with the best possible strategic defense to either get your case dismissed or you have you found not guilty at trial. I will work diligently to defend you from the following penalties:
- 90 days in jail and a $500 fine for petty theft (usually shoplifting under $100)
- Up to 18 months in jail and/or up to a $500 fine for misdemeanor theft ($100 to $1,000)
- Up to 10 years in prison and/or up to a $10,000 fine for felony theft ($1,000 to $10,000)
- Up to 15 yrs. in prison and/or up to a $15,000 fine for felony theft ( $10,000 to $100,000)
- Up to 25 yrs. in prison and/or up to a $25,000 fine for felony theft (more than $100,000)
As you can see, fines and prison terms increase according to the value of the stolen property. Penalties will also vary according to the circumstances alleged and according to your own criminal history if any. It is extremely important that you be frank with me about any criminal record you have so that I can prepare the appropriate defense and not be blindsided at trial.
Alternative Legal Penalties in Maryland
If you are a first time offender and have committed a misdemeanor like shoplifting, not only will you probably avoid jail time and only have to pay a fine but as your theft crime attorney, I may be able to convince the court that you are eligible for diversion or probation.
Diversion means that the prosecutor decides to forego prosecution if you agree to perform community service or engage in some other job that is beneficial to the public. Probation is similar, but typically involves not only community service, but paying restitution and reporting to law enforcement on a regular basis for a certain length of time. Attractive as these alternative penalties may be, remember that they are not likely to be available to you if you are charged with a felony or if you are a repeat offender.
Theft Crimes Legal Defense in Maryland
When you become a client of the Law Office of Asher Weinberg, you can trust that your case will be handled with care. Not only do I have an in-depth understanding of theft laws in Maryland, but I am also an aggressive litigator with a track record of successful outcomes. There are many tactics I may use to defend you from prosecution. Once I have thoroughly familiarized myself with the details of your case, I will decide which defense will work best. Among the multiple defenses available to me are:
- You were acting under a good faith claim that the property belonged to you
- Your intention was to borrow, not to steal
- The property belonged to your spouse (assuming you and your spouse live together)
- You have a solid alibi that you were not at the site of the crime when the theft occurred
- You were misidentified as the thief
- You made a “mistake of fact” (e.g. thinking the purse you took belonged to you)
- You did not have criminal intent to steal (e.g. forgot you left the steak in the grocery cart)
- You were coerced or threatened to take the property in question
- You actually owned the property you are accused of stealing
- You were entrapped by law enforcement to commit the crime
Sometimes, ownership is truly in question, such as when romantic partners or roommates purchased something together, say a rug, and now they are separating. Who owns the rug? In situations like this that are ambiguous or confusing, it is crucial to have a well-schooled theft attorney like Asher Weinberg to look out for your interests.
Contact Our Silver Spring Theft Crime Defense Lawyer
You can trust me to home in on the appropriate defense to protect your reputation, your employment, (present and future) and your freedom. Once you become my client, I will firmly dedicate myself to winning your case and making your best interests my first priority. Contact me by phone, through email, or by filling out a form on my website.
The Law Offices of Asher Weinberg is located in Silver Spring and provides theft crimes defense throughout Maryland including Montgomery County, Prince George County, Howard County, and Anne Arundel County.