In Utah, a person commits theft if they procure or exercise unauthorized control over the property of someone else with the intent to deprive him or her of said property. In layman’s terms, theft is stealing, and if you take someone else’s property with the intent of not giving it back, you may face criminal charges. When many juveniles get in trouble with the law, it usually is because of this. If your child has been charged with a property crime (i.e. theft/shoplifting), contact an experienced juvenile theft crimes attorney at Jardine Law Offices, P.C. for a free consultation about your legal options.
Utah state law contains numerous types of theft offenses, including grand theft auto, theft by extortion, theft by deception, theft of services, theft of utilities and theft of a rental vehicle. Utah, like many other states throughout the county, classifies theft offenses in accordance with the value of the property or services stolen. Utah also classifies a few theft offenses according to the type of property taken, regardless of value (i.e. firearms). This is not a good place for your juvenile to start out their approaching adult years. If they have been charged with a theft crime in Farmington, they need an attorney who will fight aggressively for their rights.
Fortunately, for juveniles in Farmington, they are not put through the adult court system, but a juvenile justice system instead. The juvenile justice system focuses more on rehabilitation rather than incarceration.
In the state of Utah, theft of property or services valued at less than $500 is considered a class B misdemeanor, with punishments including imprisonment not exceeding six months and a fine up to $1,000. Theft of property or services valued at more than $500 (but less than $1,500) is considered a class A misdemeanor and the punishment often includes imprisonment not exceeding one year and a fine up to $2,500. If your child is charged with a misdemeanor theft, you may want to consult your criminal defense attorney to see what the next steps are in their defense.
Theft of property or services valued at more than $1,500 (but less than $5,000) is considered a third degree felony under Utah state law. Utah considers a theft to be a third degree felony if, within the past decade, the juvenile has twice been convicted of any kind of actual (or attempted) theft, robbery, fraud, or burglary with intent to commit theft. Punishment for a third degree felony in Utah includes imprisonment not exceeding five years and a fine up to $5,000.
Regardless of criminal penalties, your teen may also be civilly liable to the owner of the stolen property (a shop owner, for example) if the monetary damages are returned in poor (i.e. unsellable) condition. They may also be required to compensate the owner of the property for whatever legal fees they incurred in bringing forth their lawsuit. It is important to remember that even parents or legal guardians of an underage perpetrator who commits a shoplifting offense may be civilly liable in certain cases.
Attorney Joseph Jardine has dedicated his professional career to defending Farmington residents in need of legal representation. If your juvenile is facing charges of theft or shoplifting, Call 801-350-3506 today to schedule a free consultation.