Defending Charges for Theft, Burglary, and Fraud or Embezzlement
What is Theft?
Theft crimes happen when one party exerts control over another person’s property without authorization, depriving a victim of that property permanently. It must be clear the property in question was not simply borrowed and a misunderstanding occurred, for example. Theft crimes can also be temporary, such as the taking of lost property or using another’s car without express permission, with no intent to permanently deprive the owner of the vehicle.
In Minnesota theft crimes can be misdemeanors, gross misdemeanor, or felonies. That classification normally is assigned according to the dollar value of the property or services involved or fit into a felony classification because of the nature of the property, such as controlled substances or firearms.
Did you know?
If the value of property or services stolen is over $1000, you could be charged with felony theft.
Misdemeanor theft involves theft crimes when the value of the property or services stolen is $500 or less. Maximum penalties are 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.
Gross Misdemeanor Theft
When the value of the property or services stolen is $501 up to $1,000, the theft is categorized as a gross misdemeanor. Maximum penalties are 365 days in jail, a $3,000 fine, or both.
When the value of the property or services stolen is $1,001 or greater, the theft crime becomes felony theft. Theft of property or asset values of $1,001 to $5,000, is punishable by a sentence of imprisonment of no more than five years, a fine of not more than $10,000, or both. Other acts of theft that fit this punishment range can also include:
- Theft of a Schedule III, IV, or V controlled substance
- Theft when the value involved is more than $500 but less than $1,000, but the person has a prior conviction within five years
- Theft when the property involved is less $1,000, but is taken from a corpse, grave, or coffin; or is a public or court record; is taken during a riot or disaster; or is a motor vehicle
More than $5,000, is punishable by a sentence of imprisonment of not more than 10 years, a fine of not more than $20,000, or both. Other acts of theft that fit this punishment range can also include:
- Theft of a trade secret
- Theft of an explosive or incendiary device
- Theft of a Schedule I or II controlled substance, other than marijuana
More than $35,000 is punishable by a sentence of imprisonment of not more than 20 years, a fine of $100,000, or both. Other acts of theft that fit this punishment range can also include:
- Theft of property or services valued at more than $35,000 when certain aggravating circumstances exist, which include fraud, deceit, or a vulnerable adult victim
- Theft of a firearm of any value
What is Burglary?
Burglary involves breaking and entering into a person’s home or other buildings with the intent to commit a crime, usually theft. There are varying degrees to burglary, and those degrees vary depending on the type of building or whether the building is occupied. What most people are unaware of is that entry into another’s home without permission or consent with the intent to commit an assault, or if a fight is inevitable, they can be charged with Burglary in the First Degree. With zero criminal history points, a conviction for Burglary in the First Degree can send you to prison for 48 months. Furthermore, many degrees of Burglary are defined as crimes of violence under Minnesota law, and despite not engaging in a specific act of violence during the offense. A conviction for Burglary can lead to lifelong restrictions and complications with respect to employment opportunities and firearm ownership.
What is Fraud and Embezzlement?
A type of white-collar crime that is broadly defined as intentionally deceiving a person or a group of people for personal gain or in an effort to injure another party. Because there are different types of fraud, convictions for fraud charges will vary greatly and will depend on the facts of the case, the value of the property taken (or amount of injury caused) and an individual’s criminal history. In Minnesota theft, burglary or fraud can be classified as a felony, gross misdemeanor, or misdemeanor depending on the value of the stolen item.
Common theft, burglary or fraud charges in Minnesota include:
- Motor Vehicle Theft
- Credit Card Fraud
- Check Fraud
- Employee Theft
- Receiving Stolen Property
- Mail Theft
- Stolen & Counterfeit Checks
- Issuance of Dishonored Checks
- Identity Theft
Where to Turn if You’ve Been Charged with Theft, Fraud, or Embezzlement in Brainerd, MN
Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer, Chuck Halverson has over 25 years of experience handling these types of charges, and will work to achieve the best possible results. Mr. Halverson will provide you with an aggressive, thorough and effective criminal defense.