Charged with Theft in Kansas? Here’s What You Need to Know
Facing a theft charge in Kansas is a serious matter. Except for low-level shoplifting (involving property of less than $1,500 in value), all theft crimes are felonies in Kansas, and potential penalties include several years of imprisonment and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.
Due to the severe risks involved, when facing a theft charge in Kansas, you need to take your case extremely seriously. Here, Shawnee theft lawyer Jerry Merrill explains what you need to know:
1. The Beginning Phases of Your Criminal Case Will Move Quickly
Once you are arrested for a theft crime, the beginning phases of your case will move quickly. You will be scheduled to appear at an arraignment, and you need to make plans to attend your arraignment with your attorney. During your arraignment, you will enter your plea (either “guilty,” “not guilty” or “no contest”), and you will need to try to convince the judge that you should be released on bail pending trial.
2. There Are Many Different Types of Theft Crimes in Kansas
In Kansas, being charged with “theft” can mean many different things. Shoplifting, robbery and burglary are all theft crimes, and there are multiple levels of each of these offenses. Offenses such as credit card fraud, possession of stolen property and embezzlement are considered theft crimes as well. As a result, in order to determine (i) what penalties you are facing, and (ii) what defenses you have available, you first need to make sure you know the specific offense with which you are being charged.
3. There are Many Different Defenses to Theft Crimes in Kansas
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could potentially have several defenses to your theft charge. For example, if you thought that you were allowed to borrow the property in question, then you might not be guilty. Or, if you received stolen property from someone else and you did not know it was stolen, this could provide a defense as well. Conducting unlawful searches and seizures, withholding exculpatory evidence, and other mistakes by police and prosecutors can also provide defenses in theft cases, and you will want to work with an experienced attorney who can identify all of the defenses you have available.
4. The Prosecution has the Burden of Proof
In criminal cases, the prosecution has the burden of proving the defendant’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” If the prosecutors assigned to your case cannot meet this burden, then you cannot be convicted even if you committed a crime. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can cast doubt on the prosecution’s case, and you can significantly increase your chances of obtaining a favorable result prior to or during trial.
Request a Free Initial Consultation at Merrill Law Firm
If you have been arrested for theft in Kansas, it is important that you speak with an attorney promptly. To schedule a free initial consultation with Shawnee theft lawyer Jerry Merrill, call 913-381-2085 or tell us how we can reach you online now.