If you face theft charges in Indiana, you should know that Indiana comes down hard on the convicted. Like all states, Indiana categorizes theft by the value of the property stolen. However, unlike most other jurisdictions, The Hoosier State limits its categories to just three.
While Indiana does have a misdemeanor theft charge, FindLaw explains that most theft crimes are felonies. Whether you are guilty of a Level 6 felony or a Level 5 felony depends on the value of the property you took.
Petty theft in Indiana
In many states, persons who steal property with a value of less than $500 will typically face petty theft charges. “Petty” comes from the French word, “petit,” meaning small. Petty theft charges, in most instances, result in a slap on the wrist and possible fine.
Indiana does not have petty theft laws. Rather, if you steal property of any value, up to $750, you face Class A misdemeanor charges. A Class A misdemeanor can result in up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
Felony theft in Indiana
If the value of the goods you stole exceeds $750, you are looking at felony charges. You face Level 6 felony charges if the value of the stolen property is between $750 and $50,000. If convicted, you face between six months and 2.5 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The state may also convict you of a Level 6 felony if you have a prior theft or conversion conviction on your record.
If the value of the goods you stole is greater than $50,000, the state may elevate the charges to a Level 5 felony. A Level 5 felony can result in between one and six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Theft in Indiana is a serious offense, regardless of the value of the property in question. If you face theft charges of any kind, it is crucial to your future that you have a solid defense against them.