The legal definition of theft generally includes two elements:
1) taking someone else’s property,
2) with the intent of not returning it.
While this may seem straightforward, charges for theft vary depending on what type of property is in question and how much the property is worth.
Fines and jail time will depend on the type of theft charge you are facing.
According to FindLaw, you may receive a petty theft charge if the stolen property’s value is relatively small. These charges are usually misdemeanors unless you have additional or prior charges at the time of sentencing. Nebraska considers theft as a misdemeanor in cases where the stolen property is less than $1,500., depending on if it is a first-time offense.
For cases where stolen property exceeds the abovementioned limits, you may face a grand theft charge instead. Typically, grand theft can either be a misdemeanor or a felony. It depends on the circumstances and the property. This is important because a misdemeanor and a felony carry drastically different minimum sentences.
Grand felony theft
In Nebraska, you may face a charge for a Class IIA felony if the stolen property’s value exceeds $5,000. Additionally, a grand felony theft charge applies to certain types of property, regardless of their value. For example, if you steal a vehicle that is only worth $3,000, you may still receive a grand felony theft charge. This generally also applies to firearms.
Any previous charges you may have will likely have an impact on what type of charge the judge assigns to your case.