Does the value of property affect the theft charge?

On Behalf of | Aug 7, 2020 | Theft |

If you face theft charges, the prosecutor will determine with which theft offense to charge you based on the value of the property you allegedly stole. The law grades theft offenses by value.

According to the Nebraska Legislature, not only does the value of the property factor into the charge but also the circumstances of the situation. However, you should note that value is very important to the grading of the offense and gives the basis for which the prosecutor will work when submitting charges against you.

Value factors

The lowest level theft charge is a Class II misdemeanor, which is when the value of the property is $500 or loss. The next level is a Class I misdemeanor with property values ranging from $500 to $1,500. A theft charge becomes a Class IV felony when the value is $1,500 to $5,000. The highest level is a Class IIA felony when the value of the property is $5,000 or greater.

Other factors

Circumstances can adjust the charges you face, superseding the grading based on value. For example, if this is not your first theft charge, the court will increase the grade to a Class IV felony regardless of the value of the property.

Also, if you commit multiple thefts in the course of one particular incident, each theft may be of a lower grade, but the court can add them all together, which would raise the charge. However, the prosecutor cannot add them together and then charge you with individual counts. The charge must be all in one if the prosecutor wishes to combine the values of all property.