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Cleveland Theft & Fraud Lawyer

Have you been accused of taking, acquiring, or exerting control over property that does not belong to you? Whether it’s money, personal items, vehicles, or real estate, theft and fraud charges are serious crimes. It does not matter whether you are accused of stealing a few items off a store shelf or a piece of land through deception, you are likely going to face a misdemeanor or felony with harsh penalties upon conviction. Additionally, a theft or fraud conviction can result in various collateral consequences, including difficulty securing or maintaining employment, and challenges finding housing.

The best thing you can do is to find an experienced Cleveland theft and fraud lawyer from The Law Office Daniel M. Margolis, LLC. If you’re facing a theft and fraud offense in Ohio, call attorney Daniel M. Margolis today at (216) 533-9533 or online to schedule a free consultation.

Common Ohio Theft and Fraud Offenses

As a seasoned Cleveland criminal defense attorney, attorney Daniel M. Margolis defends clients against all types of Ohio theft and fraud, including:

  • Theft- Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Chapter 2913.02 states that no person, with the intention of depriving the owner of their property or services, shall knowingly obtain or control another person’s property or services without that person’s consent, beyond the implied scope of the owner’s authorization, by deception, by threat, or by intimidation. If the property is worth less than $1,000, this is considered petty theft. If found guilty, you could face penalties for a first-degree misdemeanor. If the value of the property is between $1,000 and $7,500, it may be considered a fifth-degree felony. This progression continues until the theft is valued at more than $1.5 million. Then it is classified as a first-degree felony. The charge and punishment you face for theft can also be more severe if the stolen property was a firearm; vehicle; drug; or other protected property, or if the victim was disabled, elderly, or an active duty service member.
  • Burglary Under ORC Chapter 2911.12, no person shall trespass in an occupied structure or separate structure near an occupied building using force, stealth, or deception, when another person not involved in the crime is present, with the purpose to commit a criminal offense inside. More simply, a burglary is when you are accused of entering someone’s home, business, or other occupied building with the purpose of committing another crime, such as theft or assault. This is typically a third or second-degree felony, but if the situation warrants a more severe charge, you may be charged with aggravated burglary, which is a first-degree felony.
  • Robbery- ORC Chapter 2911.02 makes it is illegal for anyone to attempt or commit theft with a deadly weapon, by use of or threat of force, or by inflicting or attempting to inflict physical harm to another person during the offense or while fleeing afterward. Robbery is typically considered a third or second-degree felony. In certain circumstances, a robbery offense can be heightened to aggravated robbery, which escalates the offense to a first-degree felony.
  • Fraud There are several distinct fraud offenses. However, ORC Chapter 2913.01 defines “defraud,” the basis of these crimes, as knowingly obtaining – by deception – some benefit for yourself or another, or knowingly causing – by deception – some harm to another. You may be charged with fraud in relation to passing bad checks, misusing credit cards, insurance fraud, identity fraud, and more.
  • Forgery Under ORC Chapter 2913.31, the crime of forgery takes place when a person – with the intent to defraud knows that they are facilitating fraud – forges any writing of another without that person’s consent, or forges any writing without authorization so that it looks like the original. It is also illegal to forge any type of identification card. The level of the offense depends on the value of the property or services lost to the forgery victim, and ranges from a fifth-degree to second-degree felony.    
  • Receiving Stolen Property Based on ORC Chapter 2913.51, no one shall knowingly receive, keep, or dispose of another’s property if there is a reason to believe that the property was obtained through theft. Like theft offenses, the precise charge for receiving stolen property is based on the value of the property itself. You may be charged with an offense ranging from a first-degree misdemeanor to a serious felony.

If you are convicted of a theft or fraud offense in Ohio, your punishment will depend on several variables. However, the minimum and maximum penalties are based on its offense level.

Theft and Fraud Penalties

If you are convicted of a theft or fraud offense, your punishment depends on a number of variables. However, the minimum and maximum penalties are based on the level of the charge.

  • Fourth-degree misdemeanor– Up to 30 days in jail, and a fine up to $250.
  • Third-degree misdemeanor– Up to 60 days in jail, and a fine up to $500.
  • Second-degree misdemeanor– Up to 90 days in jail, and a fine up to $750.
  • First-degree misdemeanor: Up to 180 days in jail, and a fine up to $1,000.
  • Fifth-degree felony– 6 to 12 months in prison, and a fine up to $2,500.
  • Fourth-degree felony– 6 to 18 months in prison, and a fine up to $5,000.
  • Third-degree felony– 9 months to 5 years in prison, and a fine up to $10,000.
  • Second-degree felony– 2 to 8 years in prison, and a fine up to $15,000.
  • First-degree felony– 3 to 11 years in prison, and a fine up to $20,000.

In addition to or in place of some incarceration and fines, you may be sentenced to probation, community service, counseling, and other punitive alternatives. However, the likelihood of obtaining these alternatives and reducing the harsh results of a conviction increase by having experienced legal representation from the beginning. By working with a Cleveland theft and fraud lawyer, you have a greater chance at avoiding the maximum penalties for a theft offense.

Collateral Consequences

Aside from the numerous statutory penalties, you may also experience significant collateral consequences by having a theft or fraud conviction on your record. These may include:

  • Difficulty getting into college or graduate school
  • Inability to obtain certain professional licenses
  • Inability to hold public office
  • Difficulty maintaining employment
  • Immigration issues
  • Child custody and visitation issues
  • Difficulty renting housing

How a Cleveland Theft and Fraud Lawyer Can Help

Facing theft or fraud charges can be very challenging, both personally and professionally. You may not fully understand your rights, how to protect them, or your legal options until you consult with a Cleveland theft and fraud lawyer with The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis, LLC.

As a knowledgeable and aggressive criminal defense attorney, Daniel M. Margolis will examine every piece of evidence, while building you the strongest possible defense. His objective will always be to obtain the best available outcome, but attorney Margolis will also strive to minimize any consequences of a conviction.

Contact Dan Margolis Today

To learn more about how theft and fraud defense attorney can help, call (216) 533-9533 and schedule a confidential, initial consultation.

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