Hiring a Wyoming Criminal Lawyer to Defend Theft Charges
When you’re on the defendant side of a criminal charge, you can be sure that prosecutors and law enforcement agents will do everything in their power to convict you of the alleged crime. When this happens, the person that will be working on your defense will be your defense lawyer, and having the best attorney can drastically change the outcome.
Understanding Theft Charges
“Theft” is a general, broader legal term that comprises different types of conduct. Generally, an act of theft can be defined as a crime in which one person, intentionally and/or fraudulently, appropriates property of another person without consent.
The exact definition of theft varies from state to state. Wyoming recently amended it’s theft statutes, which historically were referred to as “larceny,” which meant that a person “steals, takes and carries, leads or drives
away property of another with intent to deprive the owner or lawful possessor”
Wyoming laws now identify specific types of larceny, including:
- Theft: taking or transferring property of another without authority and with the purpose of depriving the owner.
- Wrongful taking or disposing of property;
- Shoplifting or altering price tags;
- Defrauding an Innkeeper: leaving a hotel or restaurant without paying;
- Obtaining goods by false pretenses with intent to defraud;
- Theft of services.
Depending upon the type of theft and value of the property in question, theft penalties in Wyoming can range from a minor fine to a maximum of 25 years imprisonment plus a fine of $50,000.00!
Considering the wide range of larceny types, and the variations regarding the specific penalties, you might find it in your best interests to hire a Wyoming criminal lawyer to help your case if you’re facing theft charges.
Theft Crimes: The Most Reported Crime in Wyoming
Theft crimes are, by far, the most reported crime in the State of Wyoming. Most recent statistics (relative to the year of 2013) indicate that 10,276 theft crimes were reported, with a theft crime rate of 17.64 per 1,000 people. While this number still lies below the US national median (18.99 per 1,000 people), it’s noteworthy that in our small communities, local authorities will go the extra mile to contain those numbers and repress the related cases with heavy charges.
That’s where an experienced and highly-skilled Wyoming criminal attorney enters. Hiring the best defense lawyer is important not only because of their mastery of the State laws, highly regarded and experienced criminal attorneys generally have good relationships with prosecutors and court officials, since they deal with each other constantly. Those relationships can help a lot, especially if one defendant is considering a plea bargain.
Another important aspect of having a criminal defense lawyer by your side is that, assuming public authorities will work hard to repress theft crimes in the State, it can occasionally lead to wrongful charges or violations of a suspect’s constitutional rights. A theft defense attorney will be able to notice those violations and build your defense around it, if necessary.
If you’re facing theft charges in Wyoming without the assistance of a Wyoming defense lawyer, you may very well be the next television case of someone who was convicted, only to find, years later, that you were actually innocent.
Disclaimer:As of this date, 1/22/16, all information within this article is accurate and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Readers should not rely on this information as it is possible for laws to change.