Some people may view theft as a minor offense. However, a theft charge can have a deep impact on people’s lives, especially if they receive a conviction.
According to the Alaska State Legislature, theft means that someone intended to take another person’s property. People could face either first, second, third or fourth-degree theft charges depending on the nature of the incident. First and second-degree charges are usually felony offenses. A third or fourth-degree offense can result in misdemeanor charges.
Severity of the charges
Law enforcement officials use the value of the merchandise to determine the severity of the offense. People may face fourth-degree theft charges if they took an item worth less than $250. Third-degree charges usually involve merchandise worth up to $750.
Legal officials may impose second-degree charges when people take property worth up to $25,000. First-degree theft generally concerns property worth more than $25,000.
A person’s record can affect the charges. Someone may take property worth less than $250, for example. If this person has a prior theft conviction, legal officials may impose third-degree charges rather than fourth-degree.
Additionally, the type of property can be a factor. People who take goods from an aircraft or a boat could face second-degree theft charges, especially if they took safety equipment. Theft of explosives and firearms can also make the charges more serious.
People could face theft charges even if they did not walk into a store or another person’s home and take something. Someone could give another person a piece of stolen property. In this situation, the second person also commits an offense if he or she knew about the theft.