The Cleveland Theft Defense Lawyers Who Can Think Like Prosecutors
At Patituce & Associates, LLC, our experienced team of Cleveland theft crime attorneys is made of former prosecutors. We know how the state will build its case, what evidence it will prioritize, and what weaknesses every criminal case has. We know how prosecutors think, and because we’re never afraid to go into a courtroom to defend our clients, we know how juries tend to evaluate evidence and arrive at their decisions. If you’ve been charged with theft, contact our Cleveland theft crime lawyers.
We can provide you with the highest quality legal defense when you are facing theft charges. Whatever the specifics or level of the charges, we’ve beaten charges like them before; we can help you mount a credible defense a jury can understand. If you’re facing theft charges, let us protect your rights and fight for the best outcome possible.
To beat theft and fraud charges in Ohio, you need experienced Cleveland theft crime attorneys who know the case that the prosecution will build and can fight back against it. Call now at(440) 471-7784!
I walked out with a result I never thought possible. “Because of my stupidity I found myself facing charges for theft. By all accounts, this one mistake could have been the end of my career…thank god I hired Joseph Patituce. When I was sick with worry it was Mr. Patituce who spent time with me to answer all my questions and explain our strategy going forward. Every phone call I made was promptly returned and I never felt I was bothering him with my concerns. This morning we went to court, and all I can say is that Mr. Patituce was nothing short of amazing. He fought for me and I walked out with a result I never thought possible. If you’re looking for someone who knows the law and will fight hard for you, you cannot do any better than Joseph Patituce.”- Satisfied Customer
Get the Best Defense Attorney You Can If You’re Facing Theft Charges in Ohio
Whatever you may have done in the past, it’s important that the choices you make today reflect your desire to avoid conviction and stay out of jail. First, you need to hire an experienced Cleveland criminal defense attorney who can forcefully safeguard your interests and rights.
Many people don’t understand the seriousness of the charges they’re facing, risking their future on a public defender or an inexperienced lawyer in their social circle.
This may have consequences you’ll have to deal with for the rest of your life. Public defenders work hard and provide an admirable service to the community, but they’re also overworked and often prefer for their clients to take a plea deal—even when it may not be the best option. If you’re convicted of a theft crime, you can face anywhere from 6 months in jail to 10 years in state prison, then remain stuck with a criminal record for the rest of your life.
Are those the outcomes you’re willing to take a chance on?
Theft Crimes Cases We Handle in the Cleveland Area
Whatever you’ve been charged with, we have successfully defended theft charges such as:
- O.R.C. 2913.02: Theft
- O.R.C. 2913.03: Unauthorized use of a vehicle
- O.R.C. 2913.04: Unauthorized use of property – computer, cable, or telecommunication property
- O.R.C. 2913.041: Possession or sale of unauthorized cable television device
- O.R.C. 2913.05: Telecommunications fraud
- O.R.C. 2913.06: Unlawful use of telecommunications device
- O.R.C. 2913.07: Motion picture piracy
- O.R.C. 2913.11: Passing bad checks
- O.R.C. 2913.21: Misuse of credit cards
- O.R.C. 2913.31: Forging identification cards or selling or distributing forged identification cards
- O.R.C. 2913.32: Criminal simulation
- O.R.C. 2913.33: Making or using slugs
- O.R.C. 2913.34: Trademark counterfeiting
- O.R.C. 2913.40: Medicaid fraud
- O.R.C. 2913.41: Defrauding a rental agency or hostelry
- O.R.C. 2913.42: Tampering with records
- O.R.C. 2913.421: Illegally transmitting multiple commercial electronic mail messages (spamming)
- O.R.C. 2913.43: Securing writings by deception
- O.R.C. 2913.44: Personating an office
- O.R.C. 2913.441: Unlawful display of law enforcement emblem
- O.R.C. 2913.45: Defrauding creditors
- O.R.C. 2913.47: Insurance fraud
- O.R.C. 2913.48: Workers’ compensation fraud
- O.R.C. 2913.49: Identity fraud
- O.R.C. 2913.51: Receiving stolen property
- O.R.C. 2913.61: Finding of value of stolen property as part of verdict
- O.R.C. 2913.71: Felony of fifth degree regardless of the value of the property
Understanding the Different Penalties for Theft
Cleveland prosecutors will grade a charge of receiving stolen property according to the value of stolen property received, in keeping with the structure of other theft crimes. The lowest grade of the charge, reserved for property worth less than $1,000, is a first-degree misdemeanor with a sentence of up 6 months. As the values increase, so will the level of the charges.
As a fifth-degree felony, theft of goods between $1,000 and $7,500 can put you away for 6 months to 1 year. Penalties for values between $7,500 and $149,000 are fourth-degree felonies, with a 12–18 month sentence possible, plus fines and restitution. If the value of goods was between $150,000 and $749,000, you’ll be charged with a third-degree felony, which could produce a sentence of up to 5 years in prison. $750,000 to $1,500,000 in value will produce a second-degree felony charge and possibly put you in prison for 2–8 years. If you’ve stolen more than $1.5 million, you will be facing a first-degree felony charge and up to a 10-year sentence.
Receiving Stolen Property (O.R.C. 2913.51)
If you are caught in possession of goods obtained via theft, you can be charged with receiving stolen property by Cleveland prosecutors—even if you weren’t part of the theft. The state is required to prove that you knew or had reasonable cause to believe that the property in question was obtained illegally.
This requirement means that an experienced Cleveland theft crime attorney can make abig difference for your future.
Finding of Value of Stolen Property as Part of Verdict (O.R.C. 2913.61)
In Ohio theft and fraud cases, a defendant will be charged based on value of the money or goods that are alleged to have been stolen. “Finding of value of stolen property as part of verdict” is a statute that directs judges and juries in Cleveland to find the appropriate value of the stolen goods. This is an extremely dangerous statute for a defendant because it allows a series of small thefts to be tallied together to create an aggregate value.
To put it plainly, a misdemeanor offense can easily become a felony under 2913.61.
Similarly, if victims are elderly or disabled adults, and theft crimes are committed through one’s employment relationship, all instances can be prosecuted together. When you’re facing theft charges of any kind in Cleveland, you run the risk of significant jail time and a felony record that can close off opportunities for the rest of your life.
Evidence That Victim Lacked Capacity to Give Consent (O.R.C. 2913.73)
When it comes to theft and fraud prosecution in Cleveland, the state is required to establish that a victim did not consent to a transfer of goods. This can be theft through coercion, threats, deception, and various other means that can be prosecuted on their own. In some cases though, theft and fraud can be alleged in situations where the victim is not legallyable to consent.
Under O.R.C. 2913.73, prosecutors can use a state of incapacitation or infirmity on the part of the victim to show that consent could not have been given, which makes it difficult for defense attorneys to demonstrate that a victim consented to the situation that has led to the charges. If the prosecution can demonstrate that the victim lacked the capacity to consent—especially when the defendant knew about the incapacity—then one avenue of defending yourself in court is closed off.
Fifth Degree Regardless of the Value of the Property (O.R.C. 2913.71)
Regardless of the value of the property, O.R.C. 2913.71 states that theft and receiving stolen property crimes involving certain items are always to be prosecuted as fifth-degree felonies, which can lead to a 6–12 month term of incarceration. When theft involves credit cards, forged checks, stolen motor vehicle license plates, blank forms for vehicle titles, or blank forms for Ohio drivers licenses, O.R.C. 2913.71 will come into play. When prosecutors find evidence that any of these items were involved, your charges can be elevated.
Your future may depend on the quality of your theft crime lawyer.
Request a Free Theft Defense Consultation: (440) 471-7784
Theft, especially at the felony level, is often charged alongside other criminal complaints in Cleveland, including conspiracy and fraud. At any level, a theft conviction will have a substantial negative impact on your future employment prospects, and a felony conviction will make many opportunities and public services unavailable to you. The Cleveland theft crime lawyers at Patituce & Associates, LLC can protect your rights and fight for your freedom. Call (440) 471-7784 for a free consultation with an experienced Cleveland theft defense attorney.