Overcoming Theft Charges
If you’ve been charged with theft or property crimes in South Dakota, it’s important to understand the severity of the charges and the potential penalties you could face. Petty theft, grand theft and embezzlement are all serious offenses that can result in severe consequences, including imprisonment and hefty fines. In addition, injury to property and vandalism charges can also have significant consequences based on the amount of theft or damages caused.
I am D. Sonny Walter, and I understand the importance of providing my clients with experienced and aggressive criminal defense representation. I have over 30 years of experience in theft crimes and criminal defense, and I am dedicated to fighting for my clients’ rights and freedoms.
Defending Against All Types Of Theft Charges
Below, we take a closer look at the different degrees of theft and embezzlement as well as the similarities between injury to property and vandalism charges based on the amount of theft or damages caused.
Petty theft is the least serious form of theft and involves stealing property or money that is worth less than $1,000. In South Dakota, petty theft in the first degree is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor, which can result in up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. If the stolen amount totaled to less than $400, then it is a Class 2 misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. Convictions for theft are very serious because they can affect your ability to obtain employment for many years to come. Many employers cannot or will not hire someone with a theft conviction on their record. Banks, for example, may not be able to hire you because you will not be bondable.
Grand theft is a more serious form of theft and involves stealing property or money that is worth more than $1,000. In South Dakota, grand theft is considered a felony and can result in severe penalties, including imprisonment for up to 25 years for the most serious offense, when over $500,000 worth of property is stolen. The degree of the felony charge and the maximum sentence depend on the amount of property that is stolen or embezzled. If the loss is between $1,000 and $2,500, then it is a Class 6 felony with up to two years in prison and a $4,000 fine.
If the amount stolen is between $2,500 and $5,000, then it is a Class 5 felony with up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. If the amount stolen is more than $5,000 but less than $100,000, then it is a Class 4 felony with up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. If the amount stolen is more than $100,000 but less than $500,000, then it is a Class 3 felony with up to 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine in addition to a requirement, in all cases, that restitution be paid back for the amount of money stolen. Aggravated grand theft is a Class 2 felony with up to 25 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
Embezzlement is a form of theft that occurs when someone who is entrusted with money or property, such as an employee or a financial adviser, steals or misappropriates those funds or assets for their own personal use. Embezzlement is considered a felony in South Dakota and can result in severe penalties, including imprisonment for up to 25 years, as outlined above based on the amount of money proven to have been embezzled.
Injury To Property And Vandalism
Injury to property involves intentionally damaging or destroying someone else’s property, while vandalism involves defacing or damaging public property. In both cases, the severity of the charges depends on the amount of theft or damages caused. These penalties and the degree of felony that can be charged are similar or identical to the classes of felonies for grand theft, above.
Build Your Defense Strategy With Me
I have extensive experience representing clients facing all types of theft and property crime charges. I understand the intricacies of South Dakota law and will work tirelessly to build a strong defense strategy on your behalf. I will investigate the charges against you, gather evidence and fight for your rights in court.
If you’ve been charged with theft or property crimes in South Dakota, then don’t hesitate to contact me, a theft crime lawyer who provides experienced and aggressive criminal defense representation. Schedule a consultation and start building your defense by contacting my firm, D. Sonny Walter, Attorney At Law, at 605-450-6182 or emailing me here today.