Theft & Property Crime Attorneys in St. Peters, Missouri

If you have been accused of theft or a property crime such as arson, burglary, trespassing, or vandalism, you could incur severe penalties and you may face felony charges. Being convicted can also negatively impact your future opportunities and put a strain on your physical, financial, and emotional well-being.

We at the Gartner Law Firm have decades of combined knowledge and experience in criminal defense and stand ready to represent you and help you fight for your rights and freedom. We will review your case and discuss your legal options. Proudly serving clients in St. Peters and St. Charles, Missouri.

Understanding Property Crime and Theft Laws in Missouri

Property theft in Missouri is defined as appropriating someone else’s property without that person’s knowledge or consent. Other property crimes include:

  • Vandalism, which consists of damaging or destroying someone else’s property
  • Arson, or damaging any building, dwelling, or property by means of fire or explosion 
  • Trespassing, illegally entering someone else’s property or staying there without permission
  •  Burglary, or knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully in a building for the purpose of committing a crime

In Missouri, these crimes are divided into different classes —  A, B, C, D, and E — depending on the value of the property stolen, damaged, or destroyed and whether the accused also carries a weapon or threatens or injures others. Possible prison terms range from a maximum of four years for Class E felonies and up to 30 years for Class A felonies. Class A misdemeanors can cost you up to $2,000 in fines and a year in prison. Class D misdemeanors warrant a fine of up to $500.

Trespassing in the first degree, a Class B misdemeanor, brings up to six months in county jail and a $500 fine. Trespassing in the second degree can lead to a $200 fine.

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Possible Penalties for Theft

State law divides theft into different classes, both felonies and misdemeanors, largely based on the type and value of the property appropriated. The accused’s criminal past can also elevate the charge.

Statutes are lengthy about defining the type and value of property in each class. Here’s a brief look:

  • Class A felony theft: This involves the stealing of anything – truck, tanker, storage container, or otherwise -- containing anhydrous ammonia, the chemical used to make methamphetamine. The penalty is 10 to 30 years incarceration, even up to life imprisonment.
  •  Class B felony theft: Here the theft also includes anything containing anhydrous ammonia or liquid nitrogen. It also involves the theft of livestock, motor vehicles, aircraft, watercraft, and property from a financial institution. In some instances, however, the perpetrator must have prior convictions. The penalty is five to 15 years imprisonment.
  • Class C felony theft: Stealing property or services valued at $25,000 or more constitutes a class C felony. The penalty is three to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
  •  Class D felony theft: The value of the theft is at least $750 but less than $25,000. There is a voluminous list of the affected property. Penalties are imprisonment for not more than seven years and a fine of not more than $10,000.
  • Class E felony theft: Stealing an animal not listed in the other felonies, which can result in up to four years in prison and a fine of $10,000.

Class A and D misdemeanors also apply. Class A is theft of property valued over $150 but not more than $750. The penalty can be no more than one year in prison and a fine of no more than $2,000. Class D is theft of property valued at $150 or less and carries a penalty of up to a $500 fine.

What to Do if You Are Accused or Charged

If you’re facing charges for any of the property crimes described above, you are going to need to seek legal counsel and representation. Fighting legal battles, especially those that can result in the fines and jail terms involved in property theft and crimes, can be stressful and debilitating.  You don’t want to go it alone.

Seek Legal Counsel From Experienced Theft Attorneys in St. Peters, Missouri

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be decided solely upon advertising. If you live in St. Peters, St. Charles, St. Louis, or O’Fallon, we at the Gartner Law Firm possess both the experience and accumulated knowledge necessary to provide you the legal representation you need and deserve. Contact us immediately if you face charges for theft or property crimes. We are also proud to serve the whole state of Missouri.