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Different states maintain different felony thresholds for theft

| Sep 16, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

All 50 states in the U.S. recognize theft as a crime, setting value thresholds between a misdemeanor and a felony charge. However, each state maintains different thresholds between the charges. While a person may spend a night in county lockup for stealing $300 in Georgia, they would face a felony for the same crime committed in Florida.

Indiana law maintains a different threshold from many other states in the U.S., including its immediate neighbors like Illinois and Michigan. Understanding these theft thresholds can help people protect themselves from unjust punishments in the courtroom.

What is the felony threshold for theft in Indiana?

Theft, or “larceny” in many jurisdictions, is the act of taking something owned by another and keeping it for oneself. Each state recognizes at least two types of theft: petty theft and grand theft. Courts determine the charge based on the value of the property, including what it costs to replace. The Indiana value threshold for grand theft is $750.

Nearby states maintain different felony thresholds:

  • Ohio: $1,000
  • Illinois: $300
  • Michigan: $1,000
  • Kentucky: $300
  • Wisconsin: $2,000

Courts determine the value of the stolen property based on its fair market value. Courts determine fair market value based on location and date, potentially adjusting backward for inflation or interest. When a court fails to determine the value, it will use the cost to replace the item.

Indiana penalties for theft

Indiana considers charges for theft on three levels, all based on value:

  • Under $750: Classified as a class A misdemeanor, those convicted may spend up to one year in jail and owe a $5,000 fine.
  • Between $750 and $5,000: A level 6 felony, convicts face between six months and two and a half years in jail alongside a $10,000 fine.
  • Over $50,000: Those convicted of this level 5 felony may owe $10,000 in fines and spend between one and six years in prison.

Facing theft charges? A lawyer can help protect one’s rights

Those facing theft charges can bring their questions to a local attorney familiar with Indiana criminal law. A lawyer can assess one’s case, build a proper defense and protect the rights of the accused.