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Experienced Defense For Theft Crimes

Theft and fraud are considered crimes of moral turpitude, a reflection of your character and trustworthiness. Employers may be reluctant to hire someone who would steal or be deceitful. A theft conviction can even be a barrier to certain occupations or college programs.

The DeMatteo Law Firm can help. As your criminal defense lawyer, my job is try to keep a conviction off your record or minimize the fallout in your life.

Theft Charges And Property Crimes

With 17 years of experience in criminal law, I have handled the full range of charges, including “white collar” crimes:

  • Shoplifting
  • Theft phones, laptops, purses, etc.
  • Auto theft
  • Burglary
  • Receiving or selling stolen goods
  • Destruction of property
  • Credit card theft
  • Identity theft
  • Fraud
  • Embezzlement

Theft can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the value of what was stolen or damaged. In South Dakota, the threshold for felony theft is $1,000. The penalties can also be enhanced if you have prior convictions or if you were in possession of a weapon.

Exhausting Your Defenses

There may be viable defenses, such as mistaken identity or lack of criminal intent. Did law enforcement have probable cause to detain you or conduct a search of your person, your vehicle or your home?

Sometimes I can get charges downgraded or convince the business or victim to drop charges in exchange for restitution. I will make every effort to avoid a conviction and the future consequences for employment, or to avoid jail time.

Protect Your Future

It is never a good idea to go into court without legal representation, even for a lesser offense such as shoplifting. I will personally guide you through the legal system and work your case as if you were a member of my own family.

Call my Sioux Falls office at 605-607-5171 or email me to arrange a free initial consultation.