Theft Attorney in Kansas City, Missouri
Prosecutors in Kansas City take property crime seriously and a conviction can have lasting consequences. The scope of a property charge is broad and covers anything from writing a bad check to shoplifting, theft of services, and fraud. Dealing with these accusations can be a complex and overwhelming task.
With over 10 years of experience as a prosecuting attorney, I know the strategy of the other side. If you are facing a theft charge, you need a Kansas City criminal defense attorney with knowledge and experience that knows both the strengths and weaknesses of your case. I have tried dozens of jury cases, hundreds of bench trials, and handled nearly every type of criminal case imaginable. Don’t take the criminal justice system on alone. I am here to help.
At The Alsobrook Law Firm, I serve clients in the greater Kansas City area as well as throughout Missouri and Kansas.
According to Missouri Code §570.030, someone can be charged with theft if they have taken someone else's property with the intent to deprive the owner, either without consent or by deceit or coercion.
Misdemeanor vs. Felony Theft
The single most important factor in what class of theft charge a defendant will face is the price of the item(s) involved. Some crimes are always felonies, due to the severity of the crime, but others are misdemeanors. In general, the scale of criminal charges in Missouri follows this progression:
Class A Misdemeanor: This type of charge applies when the value of the item stolen is less than $500. Receiving stolen property that is worth less than $500 is also classified as a Class A misdemeanor. The maximum penalty for this type of crime is one year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.
Class D Felony: This level of charge applies if the incident involves stealing an animal or if the perpetrator has had two or more similar convictions in the last 10 years. A Class D felony is punishable by up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. The fine could also be an amount related to the value that the perpetrator gained, up to $20,000.
Class C Felony: This charge applies if the value of the stolen property is greater than $500 but less than $25,000, if it was stolen off of the victim’s physical person, or if the item is a vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, firearm, explosive, credit card, American flag, legal or historical documentation, livestock or pets, last will and testament, real estate deed, controlled substance, or any chemical ingredients that can be used to make illegal drugs. It can also be a Class C felony to receive stolen explosives or if the item is worth an amount greater than $500. A Class C felony is punishable by a prison term of seven years (with a minimum of one year), and a fine of up to $20,000.
Class B Felony: Theft is charged as a Class B felony if the item stolen is worth $25,000 or greater. A Class B felony is punishable by a prison term of 15 years (with a minimum of five years).
Class A Felony: Theft can only be charged as a Class A felony if the perpetrator physically harms or threatens the victim. A Class A felony is punishable by a 30-year prison sentence (with a minimum of 10 years).
The Differences Between Theft,
Larceny, Burglary, & Robbery
“Theft” is a term that includes any type of stealing from any person or entity. Larceny is a term used for the theft of personal property. Burglary is theft from a residence or building and robbery is any theft in which there is a victim who was threatened or harmed during the crime.
Shoplifting: What is It & What are the Charges?
A shoplifting charge is the result if the perpetrator steals something from a business. Most cases are generally a Class A misdemeanor, as the value of the stolen property will likely be $500 or less.
Any individual who steals merchandise (something for sale) from a business, in addition to facing potential criminal charges — is held responsible for repaying the full value of any item stolen, incidental costs up to $100, penalties of up to $100-$250, and all court costs and attorney fees incurred by the owner of the business. If the perpetrator is a minor, their parent or legal guardian is then legally responsible.
Common Theft Defenses
Defenses against theft charges depend on the specific facts of each case. Some of the most common defense strategies include:
The lack of intent to steal
Claim of right
Permission was granted from the owner
Serving Kansas City, Missouri
If you face a theft charge in Kansas or Missouri, do not face your charges alone or make the mistake of settling for poor representation. At The Alsobrook Law Firm, I’m committed to helping you navigate this difficult time and will fight hard to protect your constitutional rights. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.