If a law enforcement official recently took you or a loved one into custody over allegations of theft, it is important to understand your rights as well as the potential repercussions of these charges. Aside from financial penalties, challenges in your career and a shattered reputation, other consequences often arise when it comes to theft charges, such as time behind bars.
There are multiple factors that influence whether one is sentenced to prison over allegations of theft and the length of a sentence varies from one case to the next.
Reviewing prison sentences and theft charges
According to the Louisiana State Legislature, prison sentences vary from one theft case to the next, depending on the amount of money stolen. For example, when theft occurs without violence and the amount taken amounts to less than $1,000, prison sentences cannot exceed six months (unless they have previous theft charges on their record). However, theft cases involving more than $25,000 worth of property carry the possibility of up to 20 years in prison, while those involving between $5,000 and $25,000 in stolen property carry prison sentences of up to 10 years.
Reviewing past offenses and prison sentences
If you have theft charges on your record and are facing these allegations for a second or third time, the penalties you face are likely more severe. For example, those with two or more past theft convictions face up to two years behind bars if the amount of stolen property is less than $1,000. Although many people in this position feel overwhelmed and hopeless, it is crucial to stay focused on your case.