Theft and Burglary are known as property crimes. While many people consider theft or shoplifting to be a minimal offense, an experienced defense attorney knows that the consequences can be far-reaching. Even a simple misdemeanor with no jail time can have difficult consequences, as the conviction will be on your record for all to see. In today’s competitive economy, with jobs at a premium, it will be hard to overcome that black mark. Thus, it is important for anyone charged with a property crime to seek legal representation at once. If a person has prior property convictions, or in certain other situations, then they could be sentenced as a Repeat Property Offender, which would require a mandatory prison sentence.
Edward Kroll is a former prosecutor who knows how to deal with these kinds of cases. He understands the potential consequences, and he will make sure you have all the information necessary to make a decision. If you choose to go to trial and fight your case, you should have the backing of an attorney who has conducted over 100 jury trials.
Theft crimes in Oregon range from minor misdemeanors to major felonies. In simplest terms, theft is defined as the unlawful taking of property from another. This can include employee theft, embezzlement, shoplifting, and auto theft. The classifications range as follows:
Be aware that the state can do funny things with its arithmetic to try and “aggregate” thefts together to reach stiffer penalties. For example, if someone stole $600, and then $401 in separate incidents, the state could potentially combine those amounts and make the person face a Felony Theft I charge instead of two misdemeanor charges. This is why having an experienced attorney on your side is important.
Many people equate burglary with theft, or believe that burglary means breaking into a place and then stealing something. In Oregon, the definition is rather different. Burglary means entering a place, without permission to do so, with the intent to commit any crime. So, for example, walking into your neighbor’s apartment with the intention of punching him would constitute burglary. Nothing has to be stolen.
Burglary is a felony, but the severity of the charge is based on the intended crime, and the nature of the place entered. For example, entering an occupied home in order to commit a crime is likely to be much more serious than entering a closed store. Burglary of an occupied dwelling (a home) can carry prison time, even for a first offense.