The state of Minnesota categorizes theft charges into felonies and misdemeanors, depending upon the circumstances surrounding the charge and the value of the merchandise that the accused allegedly stole. Although misdemeanor theft charges and convictions are not as serious as felony theft charges and convictions, your criminal record may impact an employer’s hiring decision.
One of the best ways to avoid the negative effects of a misdemeanor theft conviction is to get an experienced Minnesota theft defense attorney involved in your case as soon as possible. The legal team at Gerald Miller, P.A. can review and investigate the circumstances surrounding your theft charge and formulate a strong legal defense against your criminal charge. We will do everything possible to help you avoid the negative consequences associated with a misdemeanor theft charge or conviction, including those having to do with hiring and employment. Please call us today to learn more about how we can assist you in your legal defense.
What Is a Misdemeanor Theft Charge in Minnesota?
A person may be charged with misdemeanor theft in the state of Minnesota when they intentionally (and without permission) take services, merchandise, or property belonging to another person, the property having a value of under $500. In order for you to be convicted of a misdemeanor theft charge, the prosecuting attorney must be able to satisfy these legal elements and prove them beyond a reasonable doubt.
If the prosecution is unable to meet its legal burden, your lawyer may be able to argue that fact, as well as any other legal defenses that may be applicable to your criminal theft charge. For example, you may have honestly believed you had a right to the property at issue, and thus the prosecutor may not be able to establish intent on your part.
If you are ultimately convicted on a misdemeanor theft charge, a judge may sentence you to pay a maximum monetary fine of $1,000 and serve 90 days in jail. In cases where the property at issue has a value in the amount of $500 to $1,000, the charge turns into a gross misdemeanor with a maximum monetary fine of $3,000, along with one year of incarceration.
Finally, in cases where an individual commits a gross misdemeanor theft offense, and they had one or more recent theft offenses already on record, the individual can be charged with felony theft. In that instance, a sentencing judge may impose a maximum monetary penalty of $10,000, along with a maximum of five years of incarceration.
If you are currently facing a criminal charge for misdemeanor theft, speak with an experienced theft defense lawyer at Gerald Miller, P.A. right away. Our legal team can examine your criminal charge and explore all of your potential legal options.
Impact of a Misdemeanor Theft Charge or Conviction on a Person’s Life
A charge or conviction for a misdemeanor theft offense in Minnesota can have an impact on a person’s life, including that person’s ability to find (and keep) a job. Prospective employers have ready access to online criminal records, and a charge or conviction for misdemeanor theft may negatively impact a hiring decision. Of course, the impact of a prior misdemeanor theft conviction on current employment depends largely upon the job for which a person is applying. If the individual is applying for a position as a security officer, for example, the prior theft charge or conviction is likely to play a bigger role in the hiring decision than if the individual is applying for a construction job.
In addition, employers will typically consider the age of a prospective employee when they were charged or convicted of misdemeanor theft. Depending upon the circumstances, the employer may simply write the situation off as youthful ignorance.
An experienced Minnesota theft defense attorney at Gerald Miller, P.A. can assist you with developing a strong legal defense to your theft charge to advance in court. Under some circumstances, your lawyer may be able to work out a favorable plea deal with the prosecuting attorney assigned to your case. In some cases, a plea bargain may involve a period of probation that, if completed successfully, will result in no conviction at the conclusion of your case.
If you were found to be not guilty or did not plead guilty to your misdemeanor theft charge, you may be eligible to have the charge expunged from your record under certain circumstances. If the record is expunged, meaning that it is sealed from public view, you will not have to worry about a prospective employer viewing the record and using it as a basis for a hiring decision.
Call a Minnesota Theft Defense Lawyer Today
If you have been charged with misdemeanor theft, the legal team at Gerald Miller, P.A. will work to minimize the negative consequences of your criminal charge and/or conviction. For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a knowledgeable Minnesota theft defense attorney, please give us a call at 612-440-4610 or contact us online for more information about how we can assist.