Centerville Theft Defense Attorney

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According to, the state of Ohio earned a grade of “B” as far as the number of thefts in the state. This “B” grade means the rate of theft is slightly lower than the “average” U.S. state, with a rate of 16.45 thefts per 1,000 residents. Your chance of becoming a victim of theft could also relate to where you live in the state. Neighborhoods in the southwest area of Ohio can be as high as 1 in 41 residents, while in the southeast area of the state, the chances could be much lower—1 in 131. It is also worth noting that more thefts occur in areas with the most airports, parks, and schools, which can skewer the statistics related to theft. 

If you have been charged with theft in Centerville, it is extremely important that you contact a knowledgeable attorney as quickly as possible. Even if you believe you may be under investigation for theft, speaking to an experienced theft defense attorney can potentially allow you to avoid charges altogether. The Horwitz & Horwitz lawyers are experienced, knowledgeable, highly skilled, and compassionate to your situation. Jon Horwitz has extensive criminal defense experience, including assisting those charged with theft. 

What are the Various Theft-Related Charges in Ohio?

Ohio law defines theft as taking something that belongs to another person with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of the item.   Using threats, deceit, or intimidation to coerce the owner into giving you his or her property is also considered theft. The charges faced for theft in the state of Ohio will depend on how much the property is worth, whether the victim was elderly or disabled, whether a firearm was involved in the commission of the theft, and whether drugs were involved.  The levels of theft-related charges include:

  • Petty theft—Petty theft is a first-degree misdemeanor that carries a sentence of up to six months in jail, and a $1,000 fine. Taking property or services that are worth less than $1,000 falls under petty theft. 
  • Theft—The crime of theft is a fifth-degree felony that carries a maximum sentence of six to twelve months in jail and a fine as large as $2,500. Theft includes taking something that belongs to another person and is valued between $1,001 and $7,500. Regardless of value, theft can also be charged for stealing a credit card, a motor vehicle sticker or license plate, a black form for a certificate of title or any license listed in ORC 4507.01, or a check or other negotiable item. 
  • Burglary—Burglary involves trespassing in an occupied structure and taking the property of another person. Burglary is a 4th-degree felony with a maximum prison sentence of between six and eighteen months, and a fine as large as $5,000. Depending on the circumstances, burglary can also be charged as a second or third-degree felony. 
  • Robbery—Robbery also involves trespassing in an occupied structure but includes possession of a deadly weapon, or the infliction or threat to inflict bodily harm against another individual. Robbery is charged as a third-degree felony with a maximum sentence of nine months to five years. 
  • Grand theft—Grand theft involves taking the property of another person that is valued between $7,500 and $150,000. As a 4th-degree felony, the prison sentence for a grand theft conviction is six to eighteen months, with a maximum fine of $5,000. If the stolen property is a motor vehicle or a firearm, then regardless of the value, the offense is grand theft. 
  • Aggravated theft involves taking an item or service valued at more than $150,000, and can be charged as a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd-degree felony, based on the value of the property stolen. A third-degree felony in Ohio carries a maximum prison sentence of nine months to five years and a $10,000 fine, a second-degree felony carries a maximum prison sentence of two to eight years and a $15,000 fine, and a first-degree felony carries a maximum prison sentence of three to eleven years and a $20,000 fine.  

What Happens if You Are Charged with Theft in Ohio?

A theft conviction can result in a variety of negative collateral consequences. If you are charged with felony theft and convicted, you will likely lose your job and may be unable to obtain employment after you have served your time and paid your fines. A felony conviction can prevent you from owning a firearm, obtaining a professional certificate, attending college on a government loan, and even renting or buying a home. You could have family problems as a result of a theft conviction and may face public scrutiny from those in your neighborhood, church, or at your children’s school.

How Can an Experienced Theft Defense Attorney Plan Your Theft-Related Defense?

Having an experienced theft defense attorney is essential to the outcome of your charges. Whether this is your first run-in with the law or not, you may be unsure of what steps to take to minimize the damage of your theft charges. Any criminal charge—including theft charges—can be daunting. You are likely facing a long, drawn-out criminal trial which makes your future extremely uncertain.

The state of Ohio prosecutes theft crimes harshly, so having an experienced theft defense attorney from Horwitz & Horwitz on your side can significantly reduce your anxiety. Attorney Jon Horwitz will walk you through every aspect of your case so you know exactly what to expect. Jon will then put together a comprehensive, strategic defense that will result in the best outcome possible. While the defense used for your theft charges will be specific to your charges and circumstances, some of the more common theft defenses include:

  • You had no intent to take something from another person
  • There is insufficient evidence to prove your guilt
  • You are the actual owner of the item in question
  • The owner of the property gave you permission to take or use the item
  • You were coerced by another person to take the item in question
  • You were intoxicated at the time the theft occurred
  • The person who identified you was wrong (misidentification)
  • You were entrapped (unusual, but possible)

How Can Hiring a Theft Defense Attorney Help You Fight Your Charges?

Trying to fight theft charges—or any criminal charges—on your own is virtually never a good idea. Although every theft crime is different, a theft defense attorney from Horwitz & Horwitz will carefully analyze the circumstances surrounding your charges to find anything that will help you avoid the severe penalties associated with your crime conviction. Perhaps your arrest was unlawfully executed by law enforcement, or another one of the defenses above applies to your charges. A highly skilled attorney may be able to get your charges dropped or enter into a plea deal with the prosecution. Getting legal support matters when you are dealing with the life-changing consequences of a theft conviction.

How a Theft Defense Attorney From Horwitz & Horwitz Can Help

Attorney Jon Horwitz is a highly experienced theft defense attorney who will work hard on your behalf to ensure the best outcome for your theft charges. Jon and the team at Horwitz & Horwitz help those in Centerville, Springboro, Beavercreek, Miamisburg, and Kettering with theft charges or other criminal charges. If you are facing theft charges, you are going through one of the most difficult, stressful times of your life.

Attorney Jon Horwitz knows that just because you have been accused of a crime, that doesn’t mean you are a bad person. Charges and an arrest also do not necessarily mean that you will be found guilty. The legal team at Horwitz & Horwitz is dedicated to helping those who have been charged with a criminal offense. Contact Horwitz & Horwitz today to receive a comprehensive evaluation of your charges, along with solutions that will have the least amount of consequences on your life and your future.