Not all theft offenses in Kentucky have the same impact on someone’s future or the same criminal penalties. Certain theft crimes can have a most lasting impact and may carry more serious penalties. Depending on a variety of circumstances, theft crimes can result either in misdemeanor or felony criminal charges and a broad range of penalties, including fines and incarceration.
Understanding the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony charge can help you understand the potential penalties you or someone you love my face when accused of a theft crime in Kentucky. The more you know about the charges and penalties, the better informed you’ll be for decisions about the criminal defense strategy you use.
The state categorizes theft crimes by the value of the items stolen
Most of the time, the deciding factor in whether a theft crime is a felony or a misdemeanor will relate to the value of the property involved. The greater the overall value of the items stolen, the more severe the criminal consequences and charges someone will face. As a general rule, the cutoff for misdemeanor offenses related to theft is $500. Anything worth more than $500 or a combined total value of $500 will likely result in felony charges.
However, theft crimes related to drug use, manufacturing or trafficking could also result in felony charges. For example, if the theft involves anhydrous ammonia, given is potentially dangerous use in the process of manufacturing methamphetamine, that could also result in felony criminal charges and all of the additional consequences that come with those charges. The theft of a controlled substance is also usually a felony as well.