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Theft charges can bring serious punishments, including jail time. But if you hire a skilled attorney, you can avoid jail time through careful negotiation of a plea or by challenging the charges in court.

Types of Theft Charges

The most common theft charge is shoplifting. Shoplifting falls under "petty theft," which covers all thefts of goods worth under $1000. Taking things worth more than $1000 will result in a grand theft charge, such as grand theft auto.

Burglary is another common charge. Burglary does not actually involve taking anything, it only involves entering a place illegally with intent to steal something. Burglary charges are often given along with larceny, grand theft auto or another theft charge.

The most serious theft crime is armed robbery, in which the alleged perpetrator takes something with the threat of violence. Armed robbery can result in many years in jail.