The penalties and sentences for theft can range from the minor to the severe, with a number of factors coming into play. These factors, even if they may appear insignificant, could mean the difference between a small fine or several years in prison and difficulties obtaining jobs in the future.

Read on to learn more about theft sentencing and penalties and how they might apply to different situations.

The Taking of Property of Another

Theft is the taking of the property of another with the intention of permanently removing it from the other person. The crime of theft is broken down into broad categories, that describe the severity of the crime for the purpose theft sentencing. These categories include:

  • Petty theft
  • Grand theft
  • Federal grand theft

Additional elements that can determine sentence length are the type of theft that occurred and the type of property stolen. Theft can be called by many names including burglary, larceny, embezzlement, looting, robbery, or shoplifting. Each of these terms describes a particular kind of theft may have special state laws that will often make a sentence for theft more severe.