In its simplest form, theft refers to the taking of property belonging to someone else without permission and with no intention of returning it.
Theft is serious enough, but the severity of the crime increases if it falls into the category of aggravated theft.
Types of theft
One example of theft is robbery, which involves using force against a victim in order to take money or property. The target could be an individual, but it could also be a bank or perhaps a prosperous place of business.
Another type of theft is fraud: the act of using deception to steal from a victim. Someone entrusted with managing money or assets might commit theft when he or she embezzles those assets. Someone else might steal another person’s credit card or personal identifying information.
On the other hand, burglary, while sometimes related to theft, is not in itself a theft charge. Burglary refers to the unlawful entry of a building for the purpose of committing a criminal offense.
Think of “aggravated” as theft to the next level. Aggravated theft is a more severe charge where the value of the property stolen is greater, such as a vehicle for instance, or the person used a weapon in carrying out the crime. It could also apply if the victim suffered harm.
Charges and penalties
When prosecuting someone for theft, the case may take place in either state or federal court, and the more serious the crime, the greater the punishment. For example, a conviction for aggravated identity theft carries a two-year prison sentence. A hefty fine is also common, and the court may order the defendant to pay restitution to the victim.
A felony conviction may have an adverse effect on someone’s future in many ways. A criminal record could be a barrier to obtaining employment or buying a home, and some educational institutions do not accept applicants who have a felony record.