Federal Theft Laws

Theft refers to taking the property of another person without authorization. While most times, people who are charged with theft are convicted at the state level, theft charges are sometimes initiated against someone on the federal level. If you find yourself charged with theft, it is critical to obtain the assistance of a federal crimes attorney.

What Makes an Offense Federal Theft?

Certain characteristics of an offense can result in a theft being prosecuted as a federal rather than a state offense. Some people are charged with federal theft for stealing property that belongs to the federal government. An offense that occurred on a Native American reservation or on international waters is also prosecuted as federal theft. A person can also be prosecuted for federal theft if the offense crossed state lines like in situations where a person transports property through several states. Additionally, acts of theft that involve the internet are often prosecuted as federal crimes.

The Types of Federal Theft Crimes

There are several different crimes that can be prosecuted as federal theft. Some examples of these crimes include:

  • Failing to Deposit Money: This offenses applies to a person who is in control and possession of United States currency and fails to deposit the amount to the treasurer.
  • Misuse of Public Funds: Any individual who is responsible for guarding public money and who without authorization uses this money commits an offense. A person charged with this offense faces up to 10 years in prison.
  • Theft of Property During Interstate Commerce: This law makes it a crime to steal property from a mode of transportation that is engaged in interstate commerce.
  • Theft of Public Property: This offense applies to anyone who without authority transferred ownership of government property. If this offense involves property that is less than $1,000, a person faces up to one year in prison. If the property is valued at greater than $1,000, a person can face up to 10 years in prison.

Defenses to a Charge of Federal Theft

A talented federal criminal defense will be able to analyze your case and the surrounding details to determine the best way to respond to your charge. Some of the defenses that our legal counsel might be able to raise include a mistake in identity occurred and the person charged did not actually commit theft, a person lacked the intent to commit the crime, there is not a sufficient amount of evidence to establish that person committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, or a person’s constitutional rights were not treated appropriately during an arrest.

Speak with a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are charged with federal theft, it is important to immediately obtain the services of a federal criminal defense attorney. A seasoned and knowledgeable lawyer will be able to analyze your case and determine the best strategy for you moving forward. Contact the legal team at Shein and Brandenburg today to schedule a free consultation to begin taking control of your federal theft case.