THEFT DEFENSE LAWYER BOSSIER CITY
Theft charges can derail your life and cause a number of future issues for you, both legal and personal. If you are uneducated in criminal law, you may not know the consequences of a criminal conviction for theft. That’s why, if you have been accused of a criminal offense in Bossier City, LA or the surrounding areas, you need someone familiar with criminal defense law to provide the best legal defense for you.
An experienced Bossier City criminal defense attorney like Michael J. Vergis can protect your legal rights and fight aggressively to defend you. Michael J. Vergis is a criminal defense attorney who has been representing clients for over two decades. He has extensive experience in legal matters ranging from family law to DWI charges to personal injury law and everything in between, including theft crimes in Louisiana. In such a nerve-racking situation, it’s important to work with a law firm you can trust. At The Law Office of Michael J. Vergis, we will handle your case with confidence, competency, and the utmost care. If you need legal help in northwest Louisiana, call us at 318-618-8129 or set up an appointment through our online intake form today.
Is Theft a Criminal Offense in Louisiana?
Theft is a criminal offense according to both Louisiana laws and federal law. Under the Louisiana Revised Statute 14:67, the law defines theft as “the misappropriation or taking of anything of value which belongs to another, either without the consent of the other…or by means of fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations. An intent to deprive the other permanently [of the object] is essential.” Violating this law can result in criminal charges being brought against the perpetrator.
If you face a theft charge, whether or not you committed the crime, you need to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Your Bossier City attorney will learn the details of your criminal case and use their advanced legal resources to secure the best possible defense. Trust the dedicated criminal defense attorneys at the Law Office of Michael J. Vergis. It’s our job to defend you in criminal court, so call us when you need Bossier City criminal defense lawyers.
Common Theft Charges in Louisiana
Under Louisiana law, theft is an umbrella term that can include many different types of theft. Some common theft charges are:
- Purse snatching. Purse snatching has its own statute (L.R.S. § 14:65.1). Purse snatching involves force, but not a deadly weapon or injury. The sentence for purse snatching is anywhere between two and 20 years, depending on the facts of your case.
- Theft of a firearm. This is when a person knowingly takes a firearm, whether directly or via fraudulent practices, with the intent to permanently deprive the true owner of the weapon. This may include anything from a handgun to a revolver, rifle, shotgun, or more.
- Carjacking. Like purse snatching, the sentence for carjacking in Louisiana is between two and 20 years. This criminal charge is not eligible for parole or probation.
- Identity theft. Identity theft is a serious crime that occurs when a person steals another individual’s personal information and poses as that individual to fraudulently obtain something of value.
- Shoplifting. Shoplifting is a misdemeanor when the value of the items stolen amounts to less than $1,000. It becomes a felony offense when the value of the items exceeds $1,000.
Felony Theft vs Misdemeanor Theft
The difference between felony charges and misdemeanor charges in Louisiana when it comes to theft is the value of the items taken. If the value is under $1,000, it is considered a misdemeanor. If the item(s) had a value greater than $1,000, you may be facing a felony charge.
While many people believe that robbery and theft are synonymous, there is a big difference between the two crimes. Robbery involves taking something of value using force or intimidation, while theft does not involve those factors. As one might expect, the penalties for robbery are much more severe than the penalties for general theft. Plus, many robbery penalties do not have the option of parole or probation.
Theft Penalties in Louisiana
The penalties for theft in Louisiana are severe. The more serious penalties involve lengthy jail time, large fines, and permanent criminal convictions on your record. To avoid these exorbitant penalties, it’s important that you make sure you have an attorney who is familiar with criminal law and theft charges in the state of Louisiana.
In most cases, the specific penalties depend on the value of the theft. For example:
- Thefts valued at $25,000 or more: maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and/or a fine of not more than $50,000.
- Thefts valued between $5,000 and $24,999: maximum of 10 years in prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000.
- Thefts valued between $1,000 and $4,999: maximum of 5 years in prison and/or a fine of not more than $3,000.
- Thefts valued at less than $1,000: maximum of 6 months imprisonment and/or a fine of not more than $1,000. If this is the third offense, the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment and/or a fine of not more than $2,000.
When a theft charge involves violence, the threat of violence, or a deadly weapon, the penalties significantly increase. For instance, an armed robbery conviction has a maximum sentence of 99 years.
How Do Criminal Defense Attorneys Defend Theft?
While a good criminal defense attorney can certainly fight for a plea bargain or a lighter sentence, even the best criminal defense attorneys cannot guarantee any specific outcome. Having extensive knowledge of criminal law allows an attorney to explore multiple legal options for their clients. For some offenders, community service may be substituted for fines or jail time. This legal defense can be used as part of a plea deal for a first offense and help the defendant avoid more serious penalties.
The judgment is impacted by many different factors, including the law firm you choose, the capability of your criminal defense lawyer, the evidence against you, and how many criminal convictions you have had before. If you or someone you love is facing theft charges in Bossier City, LA, call the Law Offices of Michael J. Vergis for a free consultation today.
What Should I Do If I’m Charged with Theft?
If you have been charged with theft in Bossier City, LA, remain calm. Keep in mind that a charge does not equal a guilty verdict. Our justice system affords you legal rights, and those don’t go away even once you are in custody. If you or someone you love is arrested and faces a criminal charge, one of your first phone calls should be to an attorney–specifically a criminal defense lawyer. Politely tell the police that you would like to contact an attorney and do not answer any questions.
At the Law Offices of Michael J. Vergis, we offer a free consultation to go over the details of your case and provide legal advice moving forward. Our law firm has a comprehensive understanding of criminal law, so you can take comfort knowing that you’re in the most capable hands.
Do I Need A Criminal Defense Attorney?
An experienced criminal defense attorney from a reputable law firm can be the difference between a life in prison and being able to live a normal life. If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Bossier City, Louisiana, you need the help of a legal professional. A criminal defense lawyer can work with you and the District Attorney to reduce your sentence and potentially keep the charge off your criminal record. If you need a Bossier City criminal defense attorney, look no further than the Law Office of Michael J. Vergis.
Michael J. Vergis, Attorney at Law has tried criminal cases in both federal courts and state courts. Set up your free consultation by calling 318-618-8129 today. During the free consultation, we will go over the details of your case and determine the best way to move forward. With more than 20 years of experience with criminal law, you can trust the Law Offices of Michael J. Vergis to deliver the best solution for your legal issue.
Facing Theft Charges? Call the Law Offices of Michael J. Vergis Today
If you are facing criminal charges in the Shreveport-Bossier City area, you need legal help from a local criminal defense attorney. Michael J. Vergis, Attorney at Law runs a general practice law firm in Bossier City, Louisiana. He has been practicing law for over 20 years and has extensive experience in a broad range of legal services. In addition to theft defense, his practice areas include drug charges, civil rights violations, and domestic abuse charges, among many others. He also practices personal injury law and family law and is ready to help you with whatever legal service you may need.
Legal issues of any kind can be a difficult situation, especially if they are criminal charges. Luckily, Michael J. Vergis is known to fight hard for his client’s rights and provide exemplary criminal defense in northwest Louisiana. Begin your attorney-client relationship with a free consultation at our law office. Call us today to schedule your free consultation at 318-618-8129.