What are the penalties for federal theft charges?
Generally, theft charges are prosecuted by the states, including Oregon, but sometimes charges can be charged at the federal level. A federal theft charge can lead to serious consequences including prison, fines, a damaged personal reputation and trouble finding employment. Such charges are especially frightening if someone has been wrongfully accused.
Federal theft charges can be filed for a variety of crimes, including white-collar crimes such as fraud or embezzlement. Federal prosecutors also pursue cases involving forgery and counterfeiting. In special cases, defacing or damaging certain types of property can also be considered an act of theft at the federal level. A theft charge is also considered a federal crime when the crime crosses state borders. Federal theft charges can also be filed for crimes against the government, including stealing items from government facilities such as national parks or buildings.
A federal theft conviction can result a prison sentence and thousands of dollars in fines. If the crime had ten or more victims or used mass marketing as the medium for its commission, the penalties increase significantly. Serious penalties can also be imposed if the accused was part of a business that was involved in, or knew about, criminal acts that would benefit a foreign agency or government. A previous conviction also can elevate the charges.
Because of the severity of the consequences for conviction on federal theft charges, anyone charged should seek experienced legal counsel. An aggressive criminal defense can identify inconsistencies and errors in the criminal investigation, witness accounts, and evidence.