Everyone is familiar with theft and stealing. But theft under Nebraska law comes in different varieties and levels. But what is a felony theft in Nebraska? Let’s take a look.
First, there are different types of theft. There is theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, and theft by shoplifting, to name a few.
All of the offenses listed above can be either a felony or a misdemeanor. The important thing is the dollar amount of the theft. If the value of the thing stolen is above a certain dollar amount, then the theft is a felony. So back to the question. . .
If the value of the thing stolen is $1,500 or more, theft offenses are classified as felonies in Nebraska. There are two levels of felony theft in the State. When the value is between $1,500 and $5,000, theft is a Class IV Felony. When the value is over $5,000, theft is a Class IIA Felony.
The jump between a Class IV Felony, which has a penalty range of 0-2 years imprisonment and/or up to a $10,000 fine and a Class IIA Felony, which has a penalty range of 0-20 years imprisonment is steep.
Theft can also be a felony when the dollar amount is lower if the person has had prior convictions for the same kind of theft. Generally even low dollar thefts can become felonies if it is the person’s Third Offense, meaning he or she has been convicted two previous times.
It’s also good to know that value can be combined as long as its part of the same scheme or course of conduct. For example, if a person stole 10 $200 laptops from the same store, he or she would be charged with one felony count of theft because the value is $2,000 ($200×10). The law does not allow that same person to be charged with 10 counts of misdemeanor theft.
All of the theft offenses in Nebraska can also be misdemeanors depending on the value of the thing taken. Misdemeanors are less severe than felonies. In Nebraska, the most jail time a person can receive on a misdemeanor is one year.
The lowest level theft is a Class II Misdemeanor for when the value is $500 or less. The penalty range for a Class II Misdemeanor is 0 to 6 months imprisonment, and/or up to a $1,000 fine.
The other level of theft is a Class I Misdemeanor, when the value is more than $500 but less than $1,500. The penalty range for a Class I Misdemeanor is 0 to 1 year imprisonment, and/or up to a $1,000 fine.
If possible, you should avoid getting a theft conviction. Beside the legal consequences of imprisonment, fines, and possible probation, theft convictions can make it hard to get a job. Felony convictions seriously effect other rights you have like the right to vote and other important rights.
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