Robbery, Burglary, and Theft Lawyers in Dover, DE, Helping Clients Fight Against the System
While Delaware often leads the nation in criminal justice reform, the state is still more than happy to put alleged criminals behind bars for long sentences. In many instances, this happens following aggravated assaults or homicides — but severe punishment is also possible when defendants are charged with stealing from others. If you or a loved one have found yourself in this position, a robbery, burglary, and theft lawyer in Dover, DE may be able to help.
At Schwartz & Schwartz, Attorneys at Law, our Delaware criminal defense attorneys are recognized throughout the region for their diligent work in helping the accused. Prosecutors and police will no doubt claim they have you “dead to rights,” but this is very often far from the truth. They’ll attempt to get you to admit to crimes and accept plea deals. Before making any major decisions or even speaking, though, you should contact our Dover robbery, burglary, and theft lawyers for a free consultation.
How Can an Attorney Help With Your Charges?
If you’ve been charged with a crime centered around the theft of property, you have a variety of choices before you. You can choose whether you speak to the police. You can choose whether to accept a plea deal. You can even choose whether you want to testify if the case goes to trial. However, the most important choice you will make is whether to retain a private attorney.
Sure, the state will often assign you a public defender if you want. Unfortunately, these individuals are usually overworked due to a burdened system. Additionally, it’s often in their best interest to reduce their caseload by making plea agreements they think will benefit everyone. In reality, there are many instances where a defendant stands a better chance of going to trial.
The fact is that retaining private counsel — such as the Dover, DE robbery, burglary, and theft lawyers at Schwartz & Schwartz — often gives you a better chance of securing a positive outcome. Police can lie. Prosecutors can overcharge. Judges can hand down more severe penalties with sentencing enhancements. With all this stacked against you, you need an experienced legal advocate to look out for your best interests.
How Are Crimes Related to Theft Defined?
When an individual’s personal property is stolen, many people default to calling it “theft.” While this label could very well fit, it may also not fully convey the seriousness of the charges a person faces. Robbery, burglary, and theft lawyers in Dover, DE has clients who face vastly different potential outcomes. If you’ve been accused of a crime, it’s imperative that you understand the charges against you. These could include:
Theft Laws in Delaware
When someone takes the property of another person with no intent to return it, they have committed the crime of theft in Delaware. If the amount stolen is less than $1,500, the crime is typically considered a misdemeanor and punishable by imprisonment not to exceed one year. However, penalties could rise to 25 years if a certain amount is stolen. In some instances, a person may be engaged in theft without even knowing it. For example, each of the following could be charged as theft:
- Keeping property you found without trying to find the owner
- Tampering with equipment to avoid paying for services
- Obtaining property from others through false pretenses
- Disposing of someone’s property so they can’t recover it
Robbery Laws in Delaware
Robbery occurs when the property is stolen from another person through the use or threat of violence. For instance, holding up a person at gunpoint would fall into this category. Since a deadly weapon is used in this example, the charge would likely be First Degree Robbery. Other factors can also raise the crime to the level of the first degree — such as causing physical injury or even the age of the alleged victim — and sentences could range up to 25 years.
Burglary Laws in Delaware
A burglary occurs when an individual breaks into a dwelling with the intention to commit a crime. Delaware burglary laws allow a sentence of up to 25 years in certain circumstances — such as when a defendant attempted or committed additional felonies (i.e., murder, rape) during the commission of the crime. As with all crimes related to stealing in Delaware, a potential sentence will depend entirely on the circumstances of the case.
What Are Other Theft-Related Offenses?
At Schwartz & Schwartz, Attorneys at Law, our robbery, burglary, and theft lawyers in Dover, DE handle more than just your typical theft crimes. There are many other charges related to theft that one may not think of. For instance, criminal extortion, shoplifting, fraud, and embezzlement are all crimes that a person could be charged with.
How the prosecutor defines a crime, though, matters less than the actual facts of the case. The District Attorney’s Office will often attempt to overcharge for more serious crimes — crimes they’re unlikely to get a conviction on — simply to scare you into taking a plea deal. Don’t be taken advantage of by the system. Contact a Delaware criminal defense attorney today.
Contact a Robbery, Burglary, and Theft Lawyer in Dover, DE Today
Any crime related to the taking of another person’s property is taken seriously in Delaware. Even a first offense for some of these crimes could result in a sentence longer than many murderers face. This is a tough pill to swallow for most, but that’s how the system works in our state. Fortunately, you don’t have to face serious potential penalties on your own. A Delaware criminal defense attorney can represent you before, during, and even after a trial to seek the best possible outcome.
At Schwartz & Schwartz, Attorneys at Law, we are committed to offering our clients a strong defense when they’re charged with serious crimes. We know how the system works, and that’s how we know the deck is stacked against defendants. Don’t risk your freedom by accepting a plea deal on your own or settling for an overworked public defender. Contact us today by calling (302) 678-8700 for a free case review. Our robbery, burglary, and theft lawyers in Dover, DE are ready to help.