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What happens if your child is accused of a theft crime?

| Mar 17, 2021 | Uncategorized

Parents in Noblesville do all they can to instill good values in their children. However, teenagers or even children who are young adults make mistakes. For example, a young adult may be accused of a theft crime. The following is a brief overview of Indiana law on theft crimes.

What is the statutory definition of theft in Indiana?

Most people understand that theft involves stealing something that is not yours. However, Indiana law has a very specific definition of theft. In Indiana, if an individual knowingly or intentionally exerts unauthorized control over someone else’s property, with the intention of depriving that person of the use or value of the property, that person has committed a theft crime. Control is unauthorized if:

  • It is done without the property owner’s consent;
  • It goes beyond the extent of which the property owner consented to;
  • It involves the transfer of encumbrance of the property while failing to disclose a lien, adverse claim or other legal impediment to the property;
  • It creates or confirms a false impression of the person taking the property;
  • It fails to correct the false impression that the person is influencing the other person and is in a position of special trust to that person;
  • It promises performance that the individual accused of theft knows will not be performed;
  • There is the express intention to damage the property or impair the rights of the property owner; or
  • There is the transfer or reproduction of music or a live performance without the artist’s permission, with the intention of making a profit by distributing the reproductions.

As this shows, there are many ways a person in Indiana can commit theft.

What are the penalties for theft in Indiana?

Under Indiana law, if the value of the stolen property is under $750, this is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year on jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

However, if the value of the stolen property is between $750 and $50,000, if the stolen property is a firearm or if the accused has a prior theft conviction, this is a Level 6 felony, punishable by six months to two and a half years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

If the value of the stolen property is greater than $50,000, or if the property is a valuable metal and relates to transportation safety, public safety or is taken from a health care facility, telecommunications provider, public utility or key facility, this is a Level 5 felony, punishable by one to six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Indiana law defines the value of the property as the fair market value of the property when the crime was committed. If the fair market value is unascertainable, the value of the property will be the cost to replace it within a reasonable time following the crime. The value of the property can also be ascertained from the price tag on the property.

Learn more about theft crimes in Indiana

If your teenager or adult child is accused of theft, you may have many concerns about their future. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those who want to learn more about their rights and options are encouraged to explore our firm’s website for further information.