Facing Theft charges in Cleveland?

Are you facing theft charges in Cleveland? Don’t let a criminal record ruin your future. You need a skilled and experienced Cleveland theft lawyer to protect your rights and defend your freedom.

At the Botnick Law Firm, we understand the devastating consequences of a theft conviction. It can impact your ability to find a job, rent an apartment, or even get a loan. That’s why we’re committed to providing aggressive and effective legal representation to clients facing theft charges in Cleveland.

Our experienced Cleveland theft lawyer has a proven track record of successfully defending clients against all types of theft charges, including shoplifting, grand theft, embezzlement, and more.

We’ll keep you informed at every step of the process, answer your questions, address your concerns, and fight tirelessly to protect your rights and freedom.

Don’t let a theft charge ruin your life. Contact The Botnick Law Firm in Cleveland today at 216-245-9245 to schedule a FREE consultation.

Our Theft Attorneys Handle All Theft Offenses in Ohio

Several offenses fall under the general category of theft in Ohio.


Ohio law states that “no person, with the purpose to deprive the owner of property or services, shall knowingly obtain or exert control over either the property or services” without the consent of the owner or a person authorized to give consent or that is beyond the scope of the express or implied consent of one of these persons, or if the control was exerted through deception or by threat.

  • Petty theft — If the total value is under $1,000, then it is considered petty theft (which is a misdemeanor).
  • Grand theft — If the total value is over $1,000, the person will be charged with grand theft (a felony).


This offense occurs when you enter someone else’s home or business without permission and with the intent to commit another crime, such as theft or assault.


This offense occurs when you exert control over someone else’s property through the use of a weapon or the threat of a weapon.


Fraud is knowingly obtaining some benefit for yourself or knowingly causing harm to someone else through deception.


This offense occurs when someone knowingly, and to benefit themselves, forges another person’s writing without their consent.

Receiving Stolen Property

Ohio’s laws prohibit individuals from receiving, keeping, or disposing of someone else’s property if there is reason to believe the property was acquired through theft.

There are several more crimes on the books in Ohio, covering different types of theft, such as unauthorized use of a vehicle, computer, or telecommunications property. There are also more well-known charges, such as shoplifting, when an individual takes something from a retail store without paying for it.

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Penalties for Theft Charges in Ohio

The severity of the charge against you and its penalties depends largely on the value of the items (goods, services, and property) you took.

For example:

  • Theft of items between $1,000 to $7,500 is a fifth-degree felony and carries a jail sentence of up to a year.
  • If you’re convicted of the theft of items valued at $7,500 to $149,000, it is a fourth-degree felony with a jail term of up to 18 months. You will also be expected to pay fines and restitution.
  • If you’re convicted of theft of items valued at $150,000 to $749,000, it is a third-degree felony, carrying a penalty of incarceration for up to five years.
  • Stealing items valued between $750,000 to $1.5 million will produce a period of incarceration lasting up to eight years. This is a second-degree felony conviction.
  • Theft of items valued at over $1.5 million will result in a first-degree felony charge, carrying a prison term of up to 10 years.

Other consequences of a theft conviction include a felony that will appear on a basic background check that can prevent you from obtaining employment, going to college, or getting hired for a job.

You can also expect stiff financial consequences and community service requirements. Depending on your case, a felony conviction can prohibit owning or purchasing a firearm or working in specific fields.

How a Cleveland Theft Lawyer Can Help

Any level of felony charge will result in serious consequences and deserve aggressive attorney representation. 

Your Cleveland criminal defense lawyer will carefully evaluate your case for opportunities for dismissal, such as a lack of evidence or an improper arrest procedure that violated your Miranda rights. If there is not just cause to have the case dismissed, your lawyer will discuss the pros and cons of your other options. 

Those options include the following.

A Plea Deal

A plea deal is the product of negotiations between your attorney and the prosecutor. The plea deal generally allows you to plead guilty to a reduced charge. By reducing the charge to a lower-level felony or even a misdemeanor, you will likely face less severe consequences.

There will be fewer impacts on your background check that prevent you from moving on from the conviction.

A Not-guilty Plea

If you want to plead not guilty to the crime and take your chances in court, your attorney will work to develop the strongest case possible on your behalf. The burden of proof is on the prosecution.

Your attorney will look both for opportunities to show that there is an alternative explanation for the facts of the case and continued opportunities for dismissal or a later appeal through evidence proving your innocence.

First-time Offenders

In Ohio, some first offenders may be eligible for an Ohio diversion program. This is an alternative to prosecution for people charged with a misdemeanor and with no prior criminal convictions (in any state).

An experienced criminal defense attorney can help qualified individuals pursue this path. If someone completes the first-time offender program, they can also have the charges expunged from their record.

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Cleveland, Ohio Theft Attorney Near You

Were you charged with a theft crime in Cleveland, OH? Worried about what the criminal process will look like?

If you are unsure what to do next and need help navigating the Ohio theft laws, The Botnick Law Firm can help.

Don’t go through it alone—our experienced Cleveland theft crime lawyers can help get you through this.

Contact us today for a FREE consultation.

Process step-by-step

  • 01.
    Initial Arrest

    01. Initial Arrest

    The process to charge someone that’s been accused of a crime begins with an arrest. If the police have reason to believe that someone has committed a crime, the accused can be taken into custody. Police will usually start by asking basic questions like name and address to identify a person, and then they’ll often pivot to more specific questions related to the incident. At some point during this, you should have been read your “Miranda warnings.”

  • 02.
    Reading Your Rights

    02. Reading Your Rights

    You have the right to remain silent to avoid disclosing evidence that could potentially be self-incriminating, as well as the right to an attorney to defend you in court. Those are your unwavering rights that must be recited upon taking someone into custody. Take note of when these rights are read to you, as it could be helpful information for your attorney.

  • 03.

    03. Booking

    When you’ve been taken down to the station, police will fingerprint you and get your photograph to update their records. Once this is done, you should be granted the opportunity to contact your criminal defense lawyer. If you don’t have a lawyer, get a loved one to book a consultation with a lawyer on your behalf. It’s important that you do NOT disclose any details about your case over the phone with your loved ones, as those calls are monitored.

  • 04.

    04. Investigation

    After you’ve made it through the booking process, the police may begin conducting their investigation with you. Depending on the situation, this might include a personal search, collecting samples, interviewing/interrogating, police lineups, etc.

  • 05.
    Court Appearance

    05. Court Appearance

    You’ll be held at the station until you can be brought before a judge. The initial court appearance will happen within 48 hours or less of the arrest. Here, the judge will review the case and decide if there’s any reason to keep you in holding or if bail can be granted. If bail is granted, you’re allowed to be released upon certain conditions.

  • 06.

    06. Hearing

    Depending on the seriousness of your allegations, you may have a preliminary hearing at which a judge can determine whether enough evidence exists to charge you with that level of crime. You’ll be able to plead “guilty” or “not guilty.” If you plead not guilty, your case will be sent to trial. You may get the opportunity to enter a plea deal. That’s something your attorney will advise you on.

  • 07.

    07. Discovery

    In the discovery stage, the case against you is made much more transparent. The prosecutor will share the evidence they have against you with your defense attorney. During this time, your attorney can make additional requests for evidence if need be. All of the evidence on the table will be considered, and your lawyer will work with you to form the best plan for your defense.

  • 08.

    08. Trial

    If a plea deal is unable to be reached, the case will enter trial. During the trial, the prosecutor begins by presenting the case to the jury. They share any evidence they have against you and have witnesses make their statements for the prosecution. This can be tough to sit through. Afterward, it’s your lawyer’s turn to take the stands and share your side of the story. Your lawyer can question the prosecutor’s witnesses and all of the evidence that was used against you. There are many different strategies that your lawyer will use to defend you during the trial.

  • 09.

    09. Sentencing

    In a best-case scenario, you will have been found not guilty by the end of the trial, and the charges against you have been dropped. If you are found guilty, the judge must determine what your sentence/penalties will be. The sentencing will happen at another hearing, usually a few weeks after your trial ends.

Ohio Felony Sentencing

Prison TIme
Maximum Fine
First Degree
3-11 years
Second Degree
2-8 years
Third Degree
9-36 or 12-60 months
Fourth Degree
6-8 months
Fifth Degree
6-12 months

Ohio Misdemeanor Sentencing

Jail Time
Maximum Fine
First Degree
Up to 180 days
Second Degree
Up to 90 days
Third Degree
Up to 60 days
Fourth Degree
Up to 30 days
Minor Misdemeanor

FAQ: Cleveland Theft

Will I go to jail for felony theft in Cleveland, OH?

For felony theft charges in Ohio, jail time is almost always a resulting penalty. Depending on the severity of the charges, jail time could range from six months to 10 years.

How much theft is a felony in Ohio?

In Ohio, felony charges for theft usually occur when the value of the stolen goods, services, and/or property exceeds $1,000. The charges can range from fifth-degree to first-degree and will depend on the total value of the stolen items.

How much money do you have to steal for it to be grand theft in Ohio?

Grand theft is a much more serious crime than petty theft. Generally, grand theft is when goods, services, and/or property valued at around $1,000 or more are taken from an individual. The theft of cars and animals is generally considered grand theft regardless of the value.

What are the four elements of theft in Ohio?

The elements of theft consist of:

  • An act of appropriation
  • A certain type of property
  • Unlawfulness
  • Intention, including an intention to appropriate

Ohio Courts System

We have successfully represented clients across Northern Ohio. If you are facing criminal charges, we can help you too. Don’t delay. The district attorney is building their case against you right now.

The Prosecutor will not take your charges lightly — Will you?

Experienced in all Northeast Ohio Courts and Northern District of Ohio


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