Stealing and Theft
STEALING AND RELATED OFFENSES
Chapter 570 of the Missouri Revised Statutes covers the criminal offenses of stealing and related offenses, from shoplifting, to receiving stolen property, forgery, counterfeiting, passing bad checks, fraudulent use of a credit or debit device, deceptive business practices, false advertising, bribery, and identity theft.
As the crimes of stealing and other related offenses involve issues of honesty and trust, a conviction for such an offense can have tremendous consequences on a person's ability to gain meaningful employment or suitable housing. The law firm of Holder Susan Slusher, LLC understands the importance of a favorable outcome in such cases and aggressively defends its clients in order to ensure that all defenses and options are pursued.
Theft can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanor theft occurs when the value of the property or services is less than $500.00 (unless there is force in the taking, or the property stolen is a "prohibited" item, such as a firearm). Class C Felony theft occurs when the value of the property or services is more than $500 but less than $25,000. Class B Felony theft occurs when the value of the property or services is more than $25,000. Prior convictions for stealing may result in a further enhancement of the punishment for a new offense from a misdemeanor to a felony, and from a lower degree felony to a higher degree felony.
The "value" of the property and services allegedly stolen can often be a source of great contention as it determines the seriousness of the charges and available penalties. Generally, value means "market value" of the goods and services at the time and place of the alleged crime. If the victim is a merchant, and the property is of the type the merchant typically sells in the ordinary course of business, then the property is to be valued at the price the merchant would normally sell such property.