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What is aggravated theft?

On Behalf of The Foley Law Firm | November 8, 2021

If you are accused of a crime, you should always know exactly what you’re being accused of. There are significant differences between basic charges and aggravated charges, so you need to know the difference.

If you are accused of theft, you should be aware that you could face aggravated theft charges in some cases. Aggravated theft cases are more serious than basic theft cases.

What is theft?

Theft, put most basically, is the action of stealing from another person. Theft may be against an individual or an entity such as a bank or retail outlet.

Theft doesn’t have to be robbery, which may use force against someone to steal property. It could also include fraud, like embezzling assets, which is largely not dangerous to others although it does potentially harm them financially.

What makes a theft case aggravated?

The difference between theft and aggravated theft is that aggravated theft is a more significant, severe charge. The value of the property that has been stolen may be much higher, or you might be accused of harming the victim. If you had a weapon on hand, even if it wasn’t used, the charge may also be raised to aggravated theft due to the potential for more serious injuries or threats.

What are the penalties for an aggravated theft case?

It depends on the kind of case you’re involved in. If you are accused of aggravated motor vehicle theft, for example, then you should know that you could face a Class 5 felony for stealing a vehicle worth $20,000 or more. The crime also has the potential to be a misdemeanor, but only if the vehicle was valued at less than $1,000.

You need to defend yourself against the allegations if you are accused of stealing another person’s property. If they allege that you harmed them or were carrying a weapon, be aware that you may face enhanced penalties and aggravated charges. You have a right to build a defense against the charges. Anything from showing you had permission to borrow a vehicle to proving that you didn’t steal an item could help you avoid serious penalties.

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