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Defending Against Maryland Theft Charges

In the state of Maryland, theft is generally defined as depriving a person of property without permission or consent. Under Maryland law, the crimes of larceny, larceny by trick, embezzlement, false pretenses, and shoplifting all fall under the umbrella of theft.

If you have been charged with a theft crime in the state of Maryland, you should immediately seek out a seasoned criminal defense lawyer who can represent you throughout your case. The knowledgeable Maryland criminal defense lawyers at Alpert Schreyer Poe, LLC, may assist you with your case and help you formulate a good legal defense. A good defense may allow you to obtain a complete dismissal of your charge or a favorable plea deal with the prosecution.


Maryland theft offenses are classified into five different groups, depending upon the value of the property stolen. The least serious theft offense—petty theft—usually involves shoplifting. Petty theft is a misdemeanor in Maryland and can result in as many as 90 days in jail and a $500 fine. Misdemeanor theft involves theft of merchandise valued at between $100 and $1,000. A misdemeanor theft conviction can result in incarceration of as many as 18 months in prison and a $500 fine.

The varying degrees of felony theft cover merchandise valued from $1,000 to more than $100,000. The penalties upon conviction for these very serious theft offenses can range from 25 years in prison to a $25,000 fine, or both.

In addition to being charged with and convicted of theft, a criminal defendant may also face civil liability for the stolen merchandise. The criminal defendant must typically pay twice the value of the property in restitution to the property owner.


In Maryland criminal cases, including theft cases, the state must meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, while the defendant has the burden of proving legal defenses to refute the state’s allegations.

Maryland law provides various legal defenses to theft charges. A knowledgeable Maryland criminal defense lawyer may help you formulate a good legal defense to your theft charge. Some common defenses to Maryland theft charges include:

  • Alibis
  • Mistakes of fact
  • Lack of criminal intent to steal
  • Coercion by someone else
  • Duress by a law enforcement officer
  • Ownership of the subject property


A theft conviction in Maryland can result in long periods of incarceration and high fines, not to mention a criminal record. If you have been charged with theft in the state of Maryland, the criminal defense attorneys at Alpert Schreyer Poe, LLC, may be able to assist you.

To schedule a free case evaluation or case evaluation with a Maryland criminal defense lawyer, please call us at (301) 321-7277 or contact us online.