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:
- Theft phones, laptops, purses, etc.
- Auto theft
- Receiving or selling stolen goods
- Destruction of property
- Credit card theft
- Identity theft
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.