Section 1 of theTheft Act 1968 creates the offence.

In summary a person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.

There are whole range of different types of offences which are grouped under theft, the most common of which are "shoplifting", "theft from person", "breach of trust or theft from employer", "theft by finding", "theft from dwelling"  and so on. Of course depending on the circumstances of the theft will depend on the appropriate sentencing guidlines the court will adopt. For example theft from an employer is more serious than shoplifting because there has been a breach of trust.

In any event the offence of theft can be dealt with either in the Magistrates Court or Crown Court. If convicted in the Magistrates Court the maximum sentence is 6 months imprisonment and/or a level 5 fine (£5000). In the Crown Court the maximum sentence is 7 years imprisonment amd/or an unlimited fine.

There are available defences to this charge for example if the defendant believed the other person would have consented had the other person known of the appropriation and the circumstances of the appropriation.

To discuss whether you have a defence to this charge please contact us. The free no obligation consultation will provide you with the opportunity to make an informed decision as to how you should proceed.

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