Theft & Conversion

At Stark Law Offices, we have successfully defended those accused of some of the largest thefts in Indiana history to the smallest of shoplifting prosecutions. All theft accusations are serious. Whether the case involves the most complex Ponzi scheme accusations to the otherwise law abiding mother who has engaged in an out of character shoplift, we know how to ensure that you or a loved one is legally protected.

Clients over the years have told us that they thought Stark Law Offices only handled “big” cases; such as the defense of cases worthy of television or newspaper coverage. This is the farthest thing from the truth. In fact, although we have defended the most serious of criminal prosecutions, the majority of cases we defend in this area are far less noteworthy.

Do not allow embarrassment, shame or pride to prevent you from contacting me as soon as possible for the legal protection you will need. What I have learned over the years is that people from all walks of life make out of character mistakes. We are proud to have given many good people the second chance that they need to resume their lives after such charges. However, you must make the call for help without delay as there are legal deadlines to make sure that your rights are protected.

Theft related prosecutions directed against an individual can formally be charged in a manner leading to a conviction or in a manner to allow for ultimate case dismissal or reduction in felony charges. This decision is often a critical one, for it has a major role not only in regard to the punishment available to a judge and/or prosecutor but can also determine whether one’s criminal record will be scarred with a theft related conviction or felony. For this reason it is critical to consult with an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible.

If involved early enough, a skilled defense attorney can possibly get such a charge dismissed without need for trial if filed as a theft related conversion misdemeanor or, if charged with a Level 6 felony, get the felony charge ultimately reduced.

A class (a) misdemeanor in Indiana carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and up to a five thousand($5,000.00) dollar fine. Conversely, a Level 6 felony conviction carries a penalty of up to two and one half years in prison and up to a ten thousand ($10,000.00) dollar fine.

We know how to use existing laws to protect our clients from legal harm. I have done my best to provide a summary of relevant laws below that may be easier to understand than reviewing the criminal code. Please call me anytime for free to better understand these laws and how to make them work for you!

Theft offenses:(Conversion, Check Deception) Class A Misdemeanor

0 to a maximum of one year incarceration within county jail facility. Up to a five thousand ($5,000) fine not including court costs, probation fees/court imposed treatment program(s). Specified terms and conditions of court ordered probation of up to one year.

The crime of Criminal Conversion in Indiana includes first time offenses under seven hundred fifty dollars depending upon the decision of a prosecutor. Check Deception can occur from nothing more than a bounced check. If no prior convictions a “witheld” prosecution is a potential option depending upon the decision and/or policy of the specific county prosecutor’s office. Terms and requirements of such a program will be dependent upon negotiation of a defense attorney and county prosecutor.

Theft, Forgery, Receiving Stolen Property, Check Deception (Over Seven Hundred Fifty Dollars), Use of Firearm and/or Prior Theft Related Conviction) – Level 6 felony

Minimum of 180 days in county jail up to two and one half years in applicable Indiana Department of Correction Prison facility. Presumptive or “average” sentence is one year in prison. This presumptive sentence can be reduced or increased depending upon a balance of “aggravating” factors (prior criminal history, store employee, amount and/or value of loss) and “mitigating” factors (lack of prior criminal history, acceptance of responsibility) One is eligible to have the minimum 180 days incarceration reduced or waived if the person has no prior criminal history or if a prior felony with all probationary terms successfully completed more than 3 years prior to the Level 6 felony in question.

Court imposed probation terms may last up to two and one half years depending upon applicable circumstances with up to a ten thousand ($10,000) fine not including court costs or court ordered probationary term requirements.

Theft Related Offenses Over Fifty Thousand Dollars – Level 5 Felony

Minimum of one years incarceration within applicable Indiana Department of Corrections Prison to maximum of 6 years. Presumptive or “average” sentence of 2 years imprisonment. Credit time reduced for all imprisonment from 50 percent day for day credit time for level 6 felonies and misdemeanors to twenty five percent. In other words level 5 classification requires that seventy five percent of ordered sentence be served.

Court imposed probation for up to six years and up to a ten thousand ($10,000) fine not including court costs or court ordered probationary requirements.