How Is Theft Defined in The State Of Kansas?
In Kansas, theft can be defined in multiple ways. The most common definition is the act of obtaining property that doesn’t belong to you. That is the straightforward version. But, theft can also be defined in other ways. For example, theft by deception is another theft charge. As well as obtaining property that you know to be stolen property, is also theft. The statute states that if you conceal property with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of that item, then you have committed a theft.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Theft Cases In Kansas?
The most common theft cases in Kansas are shoplifting cases. A shoplifting case, for example, occurs if an individual went shopping, for instance at a mall, department store, or a grocery store, and an item is taken from that store without paying for that item. That act of stealing or shoplifting is a misdemeanor crime if the item or items total less than $1,000 in value.
Are People Who Are Charged with Theft Always Arrested?
Not all people who are charged with theft get arrested. With most shoplifting cases, an individual will not be arrested after they commit a theft. There are exceptions, but most individuals caught shoplifting will be given a ticket or a summons to go to court on a given day. Usually that is the case if it is a first-time offense, and if the person lives or resides in Kansas. Unfortunately, if you have been caught shoplifting and you are from out of state, they will generally make an arrest and make you post bond.
Are There Different Levels Of Charges Within Shoplifting Cases?
Shoplifting cases in Kansas can result in different levels of charges depending on the severity of the theft. Severity is dictated by the value, or dollar amount, of property that has been stolen. If the total amount of property stolen is valued at less than $1,000, the charge is a misdemeanor theft, which is Class A misdemeanor. It is the most severe misdemeanor you can get in Kansas, whether the item was $50 or $1000 the law looks at the defendant the same. If the value of stolen property exceeds $1,000, but is less than $25,000 dollars, then the penalties are more severe, and an individual may be charged with a level 9 felony. A felony offense could result in jail time and fines. If you are charged with stolen property worth $25,000 to $100,000, an individual may be charged with a level 7 felony offense. A level 7 felony offense may result in jail time, as well as fines.
The most severe theft charge involves stolen property valued at over $100,000, and will be a level 5 felony charge. Usually, a level 5 felony charge can result in jail time and fines.
Overall, penalties for a theft charge can be dependent on two things. One is the value, and the other is if you have a prior criminal record. If there are multiple thefts on your record, they can elevate it to a felony or if you commit multiple small thefts within seventy-two hours, an exception can be made and a felony charge can be brought as a result.
Can Someone Accompanying A Shoplifter Be Charged With Theft As Well?
If someone is accompanying a shoplifter, they usually will not be arrested for shoplifting, assuming it has been established that individual was actually not involved.
It is important to keep in mind that being charged with theft, and convicted of theft, are two separate things. For an individual to be convicted of a crime, the elements of the statute or the ordinance must be proven. The prosecutor is going to have to prove that the person either had the intent to steal and permanently deprive the owner of that item. They still have to meet the statutory requirements.
Are Charges Still Filed If Someone Returns The Stolen Property?
If an individual tries to return stolen property, they may avoid getting charged with a crime. However, it depends on the store or the owners of the property. Ultimately, you have to remember that the cops are not sitting at every corner waiting for somebody to steal something. Generally, individuals that have committed a theft are usually reported. Typically, someone calls the cops, and says this person is shoplifting from my store. Some shop owners or victims of theft may say, “If you bring the item back, I will not call the cops.” Obviously if the cops are never called, or the theft is not reported, there will not be charges brought against you. But, if law enforcement is there, then almost invariably, you will be charged regardless of whether you brought it back.
It is important to know that bringing stolen property back can actually be harmful. Once stolen property is brought back, some shop owners are not as forgiving, and may still report the theft. There may not have been evidence to prove a theft charge before you returned the item, but returning stolen property can provide evidence of wrongdoing and could help convict you.
For more information on Theft Charges In Kansas, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (913) 451-9500 today.
Get your questions answered - call me for your free, 20-minute phone consultation (913) 451-9500.