Written 1st April 2014 by Olliers Solicitors

Olliers has vast experience of defending theft allegations which dates back over 25 years. The firm’s reputation for committed and rigorous defence work means that we attract some of the heaviest and serious criminal cases in the country.

Theft Act 1968

Theft involves the dishonest appropriation of property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other person of it (Section 1 Theft Act 1968).

The definition can cover a whole range of offences from shoplifting to theft by finding to theft during the course of employment, theft of a motor vehicle and so on.

Theft offences are one of the most common types of offences seen in the Magistrates Court.  In 2014 more than 91,000 offenders were sentenced for matters of theft.  More serious offences of the theft will be dealt with in the Crown Court, typically when there is a high value or a significant breach of trust.

Sentencing powers available to the courts vary depending on the type and seriousness of the allegation charged and can range from an absolute discharge through to a lengthy custodial sentence. The Court will consider factors such as the value of the theft, the offender’s previous convictions and other aggravating features of the offence.

Sentencing Guidelines – Theft Offences

The Sentencing Council has published new guidelines on how to sentence theft offences which will come into force for all offences of theft as of the 1st February 2016.

These new guidelines seek to emphasise the importance of considering the impact of a theft on a victim, looking specifically at factors such as emotional distress, inconvenience and loss of confidence, rather than just upon the financial loss sustained

A theft conviction is by definition a conviction for dishonesty and has a hugely detrimental effect on an individual’s character and future prospects.

Theft Offence – Low Value Shoplifting

In 2014 a new offence of low value shoplifting was introduced for offences with a value of under £200. Research for the Sentencing Advisory Panel in 2006 showed that 90% of cases of shop theft offences involved property worth under £200.  Section 176 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act makes theft from a shop, of goods worth £200 or less, a summary-only offence, while preserving the right of defendants to elect to be tried in the Crown Court.

Theft Lawyer

Olliers provide specialist advice and representation throughout England and Wales.

We are ranked as a Top Tier criminal firm in both 2015 editions of the Legal 500 and Chambers Directory.

If you are facing an allegation of theft, contact contact us on 0161 834 1515.

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