In the State of Nebraska there are a wide variety of criminal offenses that include “theft” as the primary element of the offense. If you have been charged with a theft crime in Nebraska, therefore, you could be facing relatively minor penalties or very serious penalties, depending on the level of the offense with which you are charged. It is always best to consult with an experienced Nebraska criminal defense attorney if you are unsure of the charges against you and/or you have questions about those charges; however, some basic information relating to some different types of theft in Nebraska may also be helpful.
As a general rule, one of the most important elements of a theft crime is the intent to deprive the rightful owner of the value of the item or service. From that common starting point, the law then divides theft crimes into specific offenses based on the type of theft and/or the value of the stolen property. Some of the more common types of theft in Nebraska include the following:
· Shoplifting — theft by shoplifting includes any of the following conduct:
o Concealing or taking possession of the goods or merchandise;
o Altering the price tag;
o Transfers the goods or merchandise from one container to another;
o Interchanging the label or price tag from one item or another item;
o Causing the cash register or other sales recording device to reflect less than the retail price of the goods or merchandise;
o Altering, bypassing, disabling, shielding, or removing any security or alarm device attached to goods or merchandise.
· Theft by deception – theft by deception includes any of the following
o Creating or reinforcing a false impression
o Preventing another from acquiring information which would affect his judgment of a transaction.
o Failing to correct a false impression
o Using a credit or debit card without authorization of the rightful owner
· Theft of services – theft of services involves obtaining compensable services by deception or threat or by false token or other means to avoid payment for the service OR by diverting services that rightful belong to someone else.
· Identity theft – Identity theft occurs when someone “knowingly takes, purchases, manufactures, records, possesses, or uses any personal identifying information or entity identifying information of another person or entity without the consent of that other person or entity or creates personal identifying information for a fictional person or entity, with the intent to obtain or use the other person’s or entity’s identity for any unlawful purpose or to cause loss to a person or entity whether or not the person or entity actually suffers any economic loss as a result of the offense, or with the intent to obtain or continue employment or with the intent to gain a pecuniary benefit for himself, herself, or another.”
These are by no means the only types of theft offenses in Nebraska, just some of the more commonly charged ones. Most theft offenses can be charged as anything from a Class II misdemeanor to a Class II felony, depending on the value of the property/service involved. Therefore, the potential penalties can range from no jail time to 4 years in prison and/or a fine of $1,000 to $25,000. In addition, the court typically orders a defendant to pay restitution aimed at repaying the victim.
If you have been charged with a theft offense in Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.