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The crime of theft is considered a “crime of dishonesty” and a “crime or moral turpitude.” The offense ranges from a simple misdemeanor to a Class C Felony depending upon the facts and circumstances of each case. Because theft qualifies a “crime of dishonesty” and a “crime of moral turpitude", a conviction for any level of theft can have long lasting if not permanent adverse consequences to the individual convicted.
Most employers will not permit an employee convicted of theft to remain on their work force, and if a theft conviction appears on an individual’s background check, employment will often times be denied. In the State of Iowa, there is no way to expunge a conviction once it is entered on an individual’s record so ensuring that a lapse of judgment or childish mistake does not become embedded on ones record is essential. If charged with any degree of theft, the assistance of aqualified criminal defense lawyer is a necessity. Whether it is a complex embezzlement case or as simple as taking clothing from a department store (simply larceny, also known as shoplifting), the consequences are just as permanent.
The general crime of theft can be alleged to have been committed in a number of different ways in the State of Iowa. There is Theft By Taking, what many would describe as “stealing”; Theft by misappropriation, often times referred to as “embezzlement”; Theft by deception, commonly referred to as “cons”; and receipt or control over stolen property.
The basic elements that are fundamental to any criminal charge of theft include the taking or maintaining possession of the property of another, and the intent to deprive the rightful owner of its use or benefit or using the property for ones own benefit contrary to the rights of the true owner. The level of the offense is almost completely dependent upon the value of the property taken or the amount of money misappropriated.
The degrees of Theft are as follows:
First Degree: Value exceeds $10,000 or the property was taken from the person of another; or the property was looted - Class C Felony
Second Degree: Value exceeds $1,000 but is less than $10,000 or the theft of a vehicle not valued at more than $10,000 – Class D Felony
Third Degree: Value exceeds $500 but is less than $1,000 or the defendant has two prior convictions for theft – Aggravated Misdemeanor
Fourth Degree: Value exceeds $200 but is less than $500 – Serious Misdemeanor
Fifth Degree: Value is $200 or less – Simple Misdemeanor
Local: 515-226-0500Toll Free: 1-877-GRL-LAWS
Gourley, Rehkemper & Lindholm, PLC
440 Fairway Drive, Suite 210
West Des Moines, IA 50266
Des Moines, Iowa: 515-226-0500
Nationwide Toll Free: 1-877-475-5297
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Mason City, Iowa 50401