Theft Attorney in Kansas City, Kansas
According to data provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), there were more than an estimated five million larceny thefts in 2018. Larceny is the word commonly used to describe most theft crimes, which are non-violent. However, despite the non-violent nature of theft crimes, the penalties you may face if you are convicted may be severe, whether you are in Kansas or Missouri.
The greater Kansas City area encompasses a broad swath of both the Kansas and Missouri sides of the state line. The second you drive across the state line, the consequences for one crime can be vastly different. For example, a drug possession charge on the Kansas side (especially Johnson County), might be more vigorously prosecuted than the same drug charge in Jackson County, Missouri. Knowing how the law applies to your particular situation is important in formulating a defense to the charges.
If you are facing theft charges on either the Kansas or Missouri side, you should consider discussing your situation with a qualified attorney. At The Richman Law Office LLC, I have two decades of experience representing the rights of the accused in a variety of criminal matters. I work both with and for my clients, ensuring they have a voice in the process. To learn how I may be able to help you with your theft charge, contact my office today.
Theft Charges in Kansas and Missouri
The definition of theft is generally the same in each state, but might be worded differently from state to state. In both Missouri and Kansas, you are committing theft by taking another person’s property with the intent to permanently deprive the other person of his or her property.
In other words, if you take something that is not yours, and do not return the item, you may be found guilty of theft under both Kansas and Missouri law as the laws are written. The specifics of each state’s theft laws are further explained below.
Kansas Theft Crimes
Under Kansas law, theft crimes are classified as misdemeanors and felonies, with felonies being much more serious than misdemeanors. For example, a level 5 felony is the most serious of theft crimes in Kansas. The value of the property at issue is any property or services with a value of more than $100,000. A class A misdemeanor, on the other hand, involves the theft of property or services with a value of less than $1,500. There is a gradation of severity levels in between these two extremes. Because all theft charges involve unique facts and circumstances, you may find answers to many of your questions by discussing your legal options with a Kansas City, Kansas theft defense attorney.
Missouri Theft Crimes
Like Kansas, Missouri theft crimes are classified as misdemeanors and felonies. Missouri uses the term “stealing” to describe most theft crimes. Theft crimes in Missouri include, but may not be limited to, charges ranging from misdemeanor theft (in which the value of the property at issue is less than $750) to Class A Felony Theft (the most serious of theft charges in Missouri).
Under Kansas and Missouri law, shoplifting charges fall under the general parameters of theft crimes. As such, the value of the property subject to shoplifting charges will dictate whether the crime is a misdemeanor or felony. Whether the shoplifting charges are misdemeanors or felonies will determine what the punishment will be for conviction.
Potential Penalties for Theft Charges
In both Kansas and Missouri, penalties for theft charges may range from fines on the low end for misdemeanor theft charges, and many years in jail for more serious felony charges. Jail time is a possibility for even misdemeanor charges, and generally, if you are convicted of a theft crime, you might be sentenced from a few months in jail to ten or more years in jail, depending on the severity of the alleged conduct.
Common Theft Defenses
Whether you are facing theft charges in either state, you may have various defenses available to you. Examples of such defenses include, among others, the following:
You honestly believed an item was lost and you found it, which means you were unaware that you were “permanently depriving” another person of his or her property;
You are wrongly accused;
You honestly believed you were borrowing property from someone else rather than unlawfully taking the property (such as borrowing a friend’s car); and
Officers violated your rights in the process of searching and arresting you, which is common in many criminal proceedings.
When your constitutional rights are on the line, you deserve a qualified theft defense attorney to advocate on your behalf.
Serving Kansas City, Kansas
If you are facing theft charges in Kansas or Missouri, you have limited time to act to retain counsel and defend your rights. At the Richman Law Office LLC, I am ready to provide you with a consultation to discuss your criminal charges and what options you have for moving forward. To schedule a time to speak with me, contact my office today. I serve clients throughout the greater Kansas City area on both sides of the state line.