Burglary and theft/retail theft are often thought of as the same crime, with most people thinking that the terms are used interchangeably to describe the action of taking the property of another party. However, these two crimes are actually completely different, and carry very distinct definitions and penalties. If you are facing burglary or retail theft charges in the state of Ohio, call the Comunale Law Office today for trusted legal counsel you can count on.
In Ohio, burglary is defined in Section 2911.12 of Ohio Code as using force, stealth, or deception to trespass in an occupied structure or permanent or temporary habitation with the intent to commit a crime. This means that even if nothing is actually taken by the offender, the crime of burglary is still committed. The crime is considered a third-or fourth-degree felony depending upon whether or not the person trespasses in an “occupied structure” or “habitation.”
The crime is considered to be an aggravated burglary when the offender inflicts or attempts to inflict harm on another, or when they commit the crime of burglary with a deadly weapon.
It is possible for a person to be charged with both burglary and retail theft in the same incident, although the two crimes are different and may be committed independently of one another, too. Also called theft or petty theft, an act of theft is committed when the offender acts to permanently deprive the rightful owner of their property. The theft is “petty” when the value of goods taken is less than $1,000. This is a first-degree misdemeanor crime.
If the value of goods stolen is more than $1,000 but less than $7,500, the crime becomes a fifth-degree felony. The classification becomes more serious, and the penalties more severe, depending upon the value of property involved. In fact, the crime is a first-degree felony when the amount of property involved is more than $1,500,000.
The type of penalty is dependent upon the classification of crime. In most cases, minor (not aggravated offenses) will be penalized with a fine, and perhaps a very short jail term. If the crime is aggravated or is a felony offense, prison time may be required.
If you’re facing burglary or theft charges in Ohio, our legal team at the Comunale Law Office wants to meet with you. We can help you to understand the charges you’re facing, as well as how to defend yourself against charges and what steps to take next. After you’ve been arrested, make our law office your first call. You can reach us online or by phone to learn more now.
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