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Maryland Theft Charges

Maryland is a state that defines theft based on the value of goods or services that were allegedly taken. Maryland uses the terms theft and larceny interchangeably.

The act of theft under Maryland law is defined as taking someone else’s property without their authorization, and/or not paying for a service. Service includes the following:

(1) labor or professional services,

(2) telecommunication, public utility, toll facility, or transportation service,

(3) lodging, entertainment, or restaurant service, and

(4) the use of computers, data processing, or other equipment.

Misdemeanor or Felony?

The charges for theft start at the level of a misdemeanor and can reach the level of a felony, depending on the value of the stolen item. The penalty also depends on the value of the stolen item or items. Below you will find the different categories of theft alongside the penalties that follow:

It is important to note that the thief will also be liable for the amount stolen; this amount is not included in the fine or and is not paid by spending time in prison. The amount stolen must be paid, as restitution along with the penalties.

Lost or Mistakenly Delivered Property

If you take possession of property or an item that you know was lost, mislaid, or delivered to your property by mistake, then you could be charged with theft. In Maryland, you can be charged due to “failure to take reasonable measures to locate the rightful owner or intended recipient of a piece of property, along with the intention to deprive the rightful owner of permanent use or benefit of that property.” This is important to note, as many individuals think that because they came to possess the property, most likely due to someone else’s error, they can rightfully claim the property. However, in Maryland, if a person does not try to find the owner, that person opens himself or herself up to being charged with theft.

Enhanced Penalties

If you get charged with theft multiple times, you could possibly face “enhanced penalties.”. However, it is required from the State to notify the person if the prosecutor is seeking enhanced penalties.

If you are convicted of theft, you may face serious complications with employment and or buying or renting an apartment or house, and it is important to contact a lawyer to discuss your case about how to avoid these problems. It is also important to remember that charges will not go away simply by offering to pay back what was stolen. Theft charges are not to be taken lightly. Contact us today. Our attorneys have over 20 years of experience representing cases just like these.