Theft, also known as larceny, is one of the most common criminal charges. In Missouri, theft occurs when a person takes the property or services from another with the intent to deprive the owner without consent or by deceit or coercion. Theft can revolve around many different assets and can be seen as robbery, fraud, shoplifting, identity fraud, or embezzlement. No matter what form, charges can be given at every level of crime conducted.
Understanding what constitutes theft and what the consequences are can help against crossing a boundary set in place by the legal system. In Missouri, there are multiple levels of charges available depending on the severity of the crime. Starting with a simple misdemeanor and working up to a class E felony, it is essential to understand the laws and what is at stake.
Misdemeanor Theft Charges in Missouri
Misdemeanors in Missouri can be seen as the lowest ranking charge compared to the felonies above it. Starting with a class D misdemeanor, this is a first offense where the stolen assets are valued at less than $150. This can lead to a $500 fine.
A class A misdemeanor can be subjected to the person in question if the property is worth more than $150 but less than $750. A class A misdemeanor gives a term of imprisonment of no more than one year and a fine of $2,000.
Class A Felony Charge
A class A theft felony charge in Missouri includes assets such as a tank truck, rail tank car, tank trailer, field applicator, and bulk storage tank. If any of these items were stolen and included any amount of anhydrous ammonia, it could lead to 10 to 30 years of incarceration or life imprisonment.
Class B Felony Charge
A class B felony theft charge is given to anyone who has stolen any amount of anhydrous ammonia or liquid nitrogen, wildlife, livestock, motor vehicle, watercraft, or aircraft. A class B felony is also given to those who may have been charged previously and in the last ten years with a similar crime. If this felony is charged, the person in question is given no less than five years imprisonment but no more than fifteen.
Class C Felony Charge
For a class C felony charge to be given in Missouri, the person in question must have stolen property or services worth more than $25,000. The punishment for this ruling is imprisonment of no less than three years but no more than ten years.
Class D Felony Charge
A class D felony theft charge includes many different assets and services. This charge can be handed to those who steal property or service valued at $750 or more but less than $25,000 or if the property is taken from the victim.
Examples of these assets include:
- Firearm or explosive weapon
- Motor vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft
- Credit or debit card
- Will or deed
- An American Flag that was used for display purposes
- Certain live fish, livestock, or captive wildlife
- Voter registration book
- An original copy of an act, bill, or resolution acted upon by the legislature of Missouri
- Any wire, transmitter, or metallic wire used for transmitting telecommunications, video, audio, or internet.
If one of the following pieces of property or service is stolen under a class D felony charge, the person in question can face imprisonment of up to seven years and a fine of $10,000.
Class E Felony Charge
An offense is a class E felony if the person in question stole an animal type not listed above or has been found guilty of three theft-related crimes in the last ten years. The punishment is a prison term of up to four years.
Theft has multiple criteria that makeup both its offense charges and the types of theft the offense falls under. Understanding the boundaries set by our legal system is crucial to ensure that you act within them and know your rights. If you have questions about theft laws and what your next steps should be, contact the attorneys at Baldwin & Vernon.