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Theft, Burglary, and Fraud
Theft, burglary, forgery, and fraud are felony offenses that are crimes of dishonesty. These offenses require proof of knowing and intentional action by a defendant and police often seek to obtain confessions before a suspect is charged. If a person is suspected of theft or any other crime of dishonesty, it is important to retain an experienced criminal attorney immediately and exercise the right to remain silent.

For an offense committed prior to July 1, 2014, theft of property up to $100,000 is a Class D felony, carrying a penalty of 6 months to 3 years in prison. To convict someone of theft, the State must prove the accused exerted unauthorized control over another person’s property with the intent to deprive the person of its value or use. However, if the State fails to prove the accused acted with "intent to deprive” the other person of their property, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor charge of conversion. Indiana passed a new theft law effective July 1, 2014 that governs theft charges occurring on or after that date. Under the new law, theft can be a Class A misdemeanor, a Level 6 felony, or a Level 5 felony, depending on the property's value and whether the person has a prior conviction.


Shoplifting and retail theft cases can be filed as either felony theft or misdemeanor conversion charges, depending on the value of the item taken and whethter the person has a prior conviction. Even shoplifting a candy bar can result in a Class D felony theft charge. If you are arrested for shoplifting, it is important to retain an experienced criminal attorney immediately. You may be able to avoid a felony conviction by challenging the State’s evidence regarding your intent, or by negotiating the reduction of the felony to a Class A misdemeanor.


A person who breaks and enters the building of another person, with the intent to commit a felony in it, commits burglary a Class C felony. However, if the building is someone’s home or the perpetrator is armed with a deadly weapon, the offense is a Class B felony and carries a penalty of 6 to 20 years. A person who assists in a burglary, including as a look-out or driver, can be charged with conspiracy to commit burglary at the same offense level. If a person is a suspect in a burglary investigation, or is charged with burglary, it is important to obtain an experienced criminal attorney immediately. An experience criminal attorney can challenge the evidence of a suspect’s identity, involvement, and intent.

Forgery and Fraud

Forgery is a Class C felony and carries a penalty of 2 to 8 years in prison. The crime of forgery requires proof that a person, with the intent to defraud, made or used an instrument or document in such a manner that it purports to have been made by another person or with different terms. Fraud charges often are based on improper use of a credit card. A person, who with intent to defraud, obtains property by using a credit card, knowing that it was unlawfully obtained; or who uses a credit card, knowing that it is forged, revoked, or expired, commits fraud, a Class D felony. It is also a Class D felony to use someone else’s credit card without their permission.

If a person is suspected or accused of forgery or fraud, it is important to seek immediate advice from an experience criminal attorney. In many forgery and fraud investigations, police will seek to interview a suspect by requesting that they waive their right to an attorney. If an accused person waives their right to an attorney, they can be subjected to aggressive interrogation. It is important to identify defenses to forgery and fraud allegations early in a case and to refrain from making any statements, until there has been an opportunity to review all of the alleged evidence.


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Gibson Law Office
133 N. 4th St.
Suite 73
Lafayette, IN 47901

Phone: (765) 742-8440

Gibson Law Office
115 N College Ave
Suite 265
Bloomington, IN 47404

Phone: (812) 269-1508

Fort Wayne
Gibson Law Office
701 S. Clinton St.
Suite 300
Fort Wayne, IN 46802

Phone: (260) 739-5425
Gibson Law Office
1106 Meridian St
Suite 424
Anderson, IN 46016

Phone: (765) 313-7313
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