In Kentucky, as in most states, theft charges are divided into several different and specific categories. The details of what was stolen, how much it was worth, who stole it, and how it was actually stolen will all be used to determine what type of theft charge (or charges) may be made against someone.
One of the more common charges brought up in Kentucky criminal courts is theft by deception. Theft by deception, as the name implies, involves stealing something by using some sort of deception—tricking someone in order to get something. It is what most people would commonly think of as fraud. It is specifically defined under Kentucky law and carries its own specific penalties.
Depending on the circumstances of the crime, someone might be charged solely with theft by deception, or it may be one of several charges filed to cover an act that violates more than one law.
The Definition Of Theft By Deception Under Kentucky Law
The Kentucky state laws regarding theft are laid out in Kentucky Revised Statutes Chapter 514. Theft by deception, specifically, is defined in KRS § 514.040.
The base definition reads: “A person is guilty of theft by deception when the person obtains property or services of another by deception with intent to deprive the person thereof.”
It then goes on to list several different circumstances that are considered to be deceptive by the law, including:
- Creating false impressions of value or intention
- Withholding information that could affect judgment
- Failing to correct a false impression that has been created
- Issuing a check or similar payment order knowing that it will not be honored
KRS § 514.040 also specifically includes writing bad checks (or similar payment instruments) to pay for state taxes or child support within the definition of theft by deception.
Penalties For Theft By Deception In Kentucky
Theft by deception can be charged as a Class A misdemeanor, a Class D felony, or a Class C felony depending on the circumstances of the individual case. The possible sentencing options for a conviction will, therefore, vary quite a bit.
KRS § 514.040 also sets the limits regarding which of the three types of charges will be filed. If the value of the property or bad payment is less than $500, it will be a Class A misdemeanor. If the value falls between $500 and $10,000, it will be charged as a Class D felony. If the value of the property or payment is more than $10,000, it will be charged as a Class C felony. A conviction for any of them in the state of Kentucky can result in fines and jail time.
Class A Misdemeanor Penalty In Kentucky
If you’re convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, you could be sentenced to a fine of up to $500 or jail time up to 12 months, or both.
Class D Felony Penalty In Kentucky
A conviction for a Class D felony is more serious and carries stiffer penalties. A conviction could mean anywhere from one to five years in prison.
Class C Felony Penalty In Kentucky
Someone charged with theft by deception as a Class C felony could face five to ten years in prison if convicted.
In addition to the base penalties listed above, convicted felons will lose some rights, such as the right to own a firearm. Someone with a previous felony conviction will also become what the law describes as a persistent felony offender and can receive harsher sentences for the same crime.
Speak With A Qualified Lexington Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are being charged with theft by deception, or any other theft charge, in the state of Kentucky, the best thing you can do to protect your rights and your freedom is to speak to a competent and qualified Kentucky criminal defense attorney. The more time your attorney has to review, investigate, and plan your defense, the better your chances of achieving good results for your case.
The Baldani Law Group has over 100 years of combined criminal defense experience. Our team of criminal defense attorneys has been helping clients in Lexington and throughout Kentucky defend themselves in court for more than 30 years.
Contact us today to go over your case and discuss exactly what our criminal defense team can do to help you. Your initial consultation is free and confidential. You can contact us online anytime or call (859) 259-0727 to schedule an appointment.