Are you facing criminal charges for a theft offense in Indianapolis? Don’t give up without a fight. You have the right to defend yourself, and the experienced theft crimes attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC can help.
Contact our Indianapolis, IN law office today to schedule a free consultation. We’ll review your case, explain your rights, and discuss your legal options. With us on your side, you can significantly increase the odds of securing the best possible result in your criminal case.
How Will an Indianapolis Theft Crimes Lawyer Help Me?
Getting arrested can be scary. The state of Indiana’s criminal justice system is complicated and confusing to navigate. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. The state certainly won’t make things easy for you. In fact, prosecutors want to use your stress and confusion to their advantage.
They’ll pressure you to talk. They’ll try to manipulate and scare you into saying something that can hurt your case. You don’t have to talk to the police and you don’t have to talk to prosecutors. In fact, you shouldn’t. The only thing you should say is that you want to speak with your attorney.
At Suhre & Associates, LLC, our Indianapolis theft crimes attorneys will handle all discussions and negotiations with the state. We’ll make sure they follow protocol and respect your rights. If and when they offer a plea, we can know – almost instantly – if it’s a good deal. We’ll stand by your side throughout the entire process and explain everything as it happens. We’ll make sure that you have all of the information that’s necessary to make the tough decisions in your case.
Our goal is to secure the very best result for you in your criminal theft case. We’ll take an aggressive approach to your defense and fight the state every step of the way. Among other things, we will:
- Conduct a thorough investigation into your alleged crime
- Gather evidence, speak with witnesses, and consult with experts
- Try to determine if the police may have violated your rights in any way
- Challenge the validity or reliability of state evidence, and
- Conduct legal research to find the best legal strategies for your defense.
For more than a decade, we’ve been the fiercest advocates for clients facing criminal theft charges in Indianapolis. If you’ve been arrested, we’re here to help you, too. We know your future is at stake, so we’ll do everything in our power to protect it. Contact us today to learn more.
Understanding Theft Crimes in Indiana
Theft, as defined in Indiana Code Section 35-43-4-2, is the crime of “knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over property of another person, with intent to deprive the other person of any part of its value or use.”
In other words, theft occurs when you unlawfully take property that belongs to another person with the intent to deprive them of it.
When you’re charged with theft in Indiana, the state has the burden of proving that you are guilty of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. To do this, prosecutors have to prove each element of the crime. Here’s what that involves.
Knowingly or Intentionally
Theft must involve actions that are done intentionally or knowingly. In other words, when you take property that doesn’t belong to you, it has to be done on purpose. This element helps to protect you from facing criminal charges for actions that are accidental.
Exerting Control Over Property
The crime of theft requires you to “exert control over property.” This is broadly defined in 35-43-4-1(a) to include:
- Lead away
- Encumber, or
Exerting control can also be defined to include actions that “secure, transfer, or extend a right” to property.
It’s not enough to exert control over property. That control must be unauthorized. Unauthorized is defined in 35-43-4-1(b) to mean control that is done:
- Without the owner’s consent
- In a manner or to an extent other than to which the owner has consented
- By transferring or encumbering property without disclosing a lien or legal impediment to enjoying the property
- By creating a false impression in the owner
- By failing to correct a false impression that you know is influencing the owner, if you have a special relationship of trust with them, or
- By expressing an intention to damage or impair the property or the owner’s rights.
Unauthorized control can also refer to transferring or reproducing recorded sounds or a live performance without the owner’s consent, if you intend to distribute that property for financial gain.
Intent to Deprive
If the state has proven each of the other elements of the offense, prosecutors still have the burden of proving that – when you took the property – you intended to keep it or prevent the owner from using or enjoying it.
Crimes Classified as Theft Offenses in Indiana
While theft is a crime on its own, it’s also an umbrella term that’s used to describe some similar, yet distinct, criminal offenses. These crimes have a common theme – taking property that doesn’t belong to you without consent.
At Suhre & Associates, LLC, our Indianapolis criminal defense attorneys handle theft offenses, including:
- Receiving stolen property
- Auto theft
- Fraud, and
When you’re charged with a theft offense in Indianapolis, it’s important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. Do not hesitate to contact the skilled legal team at Suhre & Associates, LLC immediately to ensure that your rights are protected.
What Are the Penalties for Theft in Indianapolis?
In Indiana, the charges and penalties for a theft offense ultimately depend on the market value of the property involved in the crime.
Property Valued at Less Than $750
When property is valued at less than $750, the theft offense is classified as a Class A Misdemeanor. A conviction is punishable by a maximum of 12 months in a Marion County Jail and/or up to $5,000 in fines.
Property Valued at More Than $750 But Less Than $50,000
When property is valued between $750 and $49,999, the theft offense is classified as a Level 6 Felony. A conviction is punishable by:
- Between 6 months and 30 months in an Indiana State Prison, and
- Fines of up to $10,000.
You can also be sentenced to a term of probation for a felony theft conviction.
Property Valued at More Than $50,000
When property is valued to be worth more than $50,000, the theft offense is classified as a Level 5 Felony. A conviction is punishable by:
- Between 1 and 6 years i prison, and
- Up to $10,000 in fines.
Charges and penalties can be more serious if you have prior theft convictions on your criminal record. For subsequent theft offenses committed after July 1, 2014, you can be charged with a Level 6 Felony.
How Can I Defend Theft Charges in Indianapolis?
When you’ve been arrested on theft charges in Indianapolis, it’s important to stay calm and remember that the state has the burden of proving that you’re guilty. That’s tougher than you might think. At Suhre & Associates, LLC, our job is to make the state’s job even more challenging.
We’ll carefully investigate your alleged crime and determine the best possible arguments for your defense. Possible defenses might include:
- You didn’t act knowingly or intentionally
- You lacked the intent to deprive the owner of their property
- You took the property by mistake
- You are the rightful owner of the property in question, or
- You’ve been mistakenly identified or falsely accused of the crime.
Our attorneys will also assess how the police handled your arrest and any searches of your person, vehicle, home, or property. If we determine that you were the victim of an unlawful arrest or illegal search, we’ll bring that to the court’s attention. We’ll file a petition to have tainted and illegally-obtained evidence excluded from the state’s case against you. Without evidence, the prosecution might have to consider a favorable plea or drop the charges, altogether.
Call Our Indianapolis Theft Crimes Defense Lawyers Today
The state will begin to build its case against you the moment you’re arrested on suspicion of a theft crime in Indianapolis. Your future is on the line. Do not hesitate to contact the experienced Indianapolis theft crime lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC for help. We’ll aggressively defend you against any criminal charges you face. Your first consultation is free, so reach out to us online or give us a call today to get started.