Kentucky officials generally file theft charges based on the amount allegedly taken. As KY.gov explains, theft of goods or services worth less than $1,000 may classify as a misdemeanor.
When prosecutors allege individuals took goods or services worth more than $1,000, the accused could face Class D felony theft charges. If the value falls between $5,000 and $10,000, officials may file Class C felony charges.
Theft may also classify as a felony regardless of value
Unlawfully taking firearms may result in felony theft charges regardless of their value. With at least three misdemeanor theft convictions during the past five years, Kentucky residents could face felony convictions.
As noted by WLKY News, officials may now file felony charges when individuals take mail or delivery packages not addressed to them. Taking delivered boxes left outside on porches, for example, could bring serious charges even if the item inside the package has little value.
Prosecutors may push to convict on felony theft charges
In some misdemeanor theft circumstances, prosecutors may attempt to persuade the court to convict an individual of a felony. As the Courier-Journal reported, a Kentucky resident faced felony theft charges for taking an item worth only $80. The woman allegedly switched bar codes on store items to pay less and used the self-checkout system to avoid detection.
Prosecutors attempted to convict the woman of a felony with up to 10 years jail time for her “unlawful access to a computer.” The attempt did not ultimately meet with success. The final ruling noted the felony charge as “unfair” because the woman had the store’s consent to use its self-checkout computer system. A charge and conviction for misdemeanor theft involving goods worth $80 became the final outcome.
Courts may decide to reduce charges when shown a convincing presentation of the circumstances.