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What is the definition of theft? What are the consequences of theft?

Theft is defined in Washington D.C. as wrongfully using or obtaining someone else’s property with the intent to deprive the other person of this property or to use the property as one’s own. Stolen property not only includes physical property but also can include services, intellectual property, and identity.

Stealing any property valued under $1,000 is considered theft in the second degree, or petty theft and punishment may include fines and jail time up to 180 days. Any theft where the property is valued over $1,000 is considered both theft in the first degree and a felony and punishment may include fines and jail time up to 10 years.

What types of theft can I be charged with?

Charges range from shoplifting to identity theft investigations and may include embezzlement of government funds, improper use of government payroll and time and attendance fraud. The amount alleged to have been stolen will determine whether the charge is brought as a misdemeanor or felony.

What is the definition of shoplifting? What are the consequences for shoplifting?

Shoplifting is a theft crime where an individual takes or intends to take property that is offered for sale by concealing the property, removing or altering the price tag, or transferring the property from its original container. A person accused of shoplifting can face punishments of up to $300 dollars in fines and 90 days in jail; however, the accused may also be liable for returning three times the monetary amount of the shoplifted property to the merchant.

Quick investigation and negotiation with the prosecutor in shoplifting cases can often avoid convictions and jail time. Our criminal defense attorneys give you the benefit of their experience because they have investigated hundreds of shoplifting cases.

How is identity theft investigated? Is using someone else’s I.D. considered identity theft?

Identity theft charges are typically investigated by the U.S. Secret Service or FBI but sometimes also by local police. An understanding of how to analyze your bank records and your use of computers will be essential to defending you against identity theft cases. Our criminal defense attorneys will work closely with both accountants and computer experts to defend you.

Using someone else’s real I.D. with the intent to misrepresent yourself as that person is considered identity theft, so using someone’s I.D. to pass as 21 with the intent to buy alcohol or enter an establishment with an age restriction can be considered along with other crimes.

What does my college or university define as theft?

University codes of conduct also typically define it as the unauthorized use or possession of property or services that belong to someone else (including the university) with the intent to deprive that person of their right to the property.

What are my college or university’s consequences for theft?

The minimum sanction for theft at most universities is restitution to the owner. As with all university disciplinary hearings, it is important to contact an experienced student defense attorney beforehand to ensure you understand your student rights and ensure minimal disruption to your education.

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