Theft

A theft conviction can have impact your ability to find future employment, which is why it is so important to have a criminal defense attorney review your case. In Kentucky, there are three different types of theft crimes. Listed below are the Kentucky laws that define each. Each crime differs in how it is defined, which is why it is important to find a criminal defense lawyer familiar with the differences. Theft by unlawful taking is the most common, but is very different from theft by failure to make required disposition of property. Whether you are charged with a Felony or Misdemeanor theft crime, protect your rights and speak with a criminal lawyer.

514.030 Theft by unlawful taking or disposition -- Penalties. (1) Except as otherwise provided in KRS 217.181, a person is guilty of theft by unlawful taking or disposition when he unlawfully: (a) Takes or exercises control over movable property of another with intent to deprive him thereof; or (b) Obtains immovable property of another or any interest therein with intent to benefit himself or another not entitled thereto. (2) Theft by unlawful taking or disposition is a Class A misdemeanor unless: (a) The property is a firearm (regardless of the value of the firearm), in which case it is a Class D felony; (b) The property is anhydrous ammonia (regardless of the value of the ammonia), in which case it is a Class D felony unless it is proven that the person violated this section with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine in violation of KRS 218A.1432, in which case it is a Class B felony for the first offense and a Class A felony for each subsequent offense; (c) The property is one (1) or more controlled substances valued collectively at less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), in which case it is a Class D felony; (d) The value of the property is five hundred dollars ($500) or more but less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), in which case it is a Class D felony; (e) The value of the property is ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more but less than one million dollars ($1,000,000), in which case it is a Class C felony; (f) The value of the property is one million dollars ($1,000,000) or more but less than ten million dollars ($10,000,000), in which case it is a Class B felony; or (g) The value of the property is ten million dollars ($10,000,000) or more, in which case it is a Class B felony. (3) Any person convicted under subsection (2)(g) of this section shall not be released on probation or parole until he or she has served at least fifty percent (50%) of the sentence imposed, any statute to the contrary notwithstanding.

514.040 Theft by deception. (1) 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. A person deceives when the person intentionally: (a) Creates or reinforces a false impression, including false impressions as to law, value, intention, or other state of mind; (b) Prevents another from acquiring information which would affect judgment of a transaction; (c) Fails to correct a false impression which the deceiver previously created or reinforced or which the deceiver knows to be influencing another to whom the person stands in a fiduciary or confidential relationship; (d) Fails to disclose a known lien, adverse claim, or other legal impediment to the enjoyment of property which the person transfers or encumbers in consideration for the property obtained, whether the impediment is or is not valid or is or is not a matter of official record; or (e) Issues or passes a check or similar sight order for the payment of money, knowing that it will not be honored by the drawee. (2) The term "deceive" does not, however, include falsity as to matters having no pecuniary significance or puffing by statements unlikely to deceive ordinary persons in the group addressed. (3) Deception as to a person's intention to perform a promise shall not be inferred from the fact alone that he did not subsequently perform the promise. (4) For purposes of subsection (1) of this section, a maker of a check or similar sight order for the payment of money is presumed to know that the check or order, other than a postdated check or order, would not be paid, if: (a) The maker had no account with the drawee at the time the check or order was issued; or (b) Payment was refused by the drawee for lack of funds, upon presentation within thirty (30) days after issue, and the maker failed to make good within ten (10) days after receiving notice of that refusal. Notice of the refusal may include a citation to this section and a description of this section's criminal penalties and shall be deemed properly addressed when mailed to the address printed or written on the check or sight order or provided by the drawer or maker upon issuance of the check or sight order. The notice, if mailed, shall be deemed received by the addressee seven (7) days after it is placed in the United States mail. The notice may be sent by first-class mail if supported by an affidavit of service setting out the contents of the notice, the address to which the notice was mailed, that correct postage was applied, and the date the notice was placed in the United States mail. A maker makes good on a check or similar sight order for the payment of money by paying to the holder the face amount of the instrument, together with any merchant's posted bad check handling fee not to exceed fifty dollars ($50) and any fee imposed pursuant to subsection (5) of this section. (5) If a county attorney issues notice to a maker that a drawee has refused to honor an instrument due to a lack of funds as described in subsection (4)(b) of this section, the county attorney may charge a fee to the maker of fifty dollars ($50), if the instrument is paid. Money paid to the county attorney pursuant to this section shall be used only for payment of county attorney office operating expenses. Excess fees held by the county attorney on June 30 of each year shall be turned over to the county treasurer before the end of the next fiscal year for use by the fiscal court of the county. (6) A person is guilty of theft by deception when the person issues a check or similar sight order in payment of all or any part of any tax payable to the Commonwealth knowing that it will not be honored by the drawee. (7) A person is guilty of theft by deception when the person issues a check or similar sight order in payment of all or any part of a child support obligation knowing that it will not be honored by the drawee. (8) Theft by deception is a Class A misdemeanor unless the value of the property, service, or the amount of the check or sight order referred to in subsection (6) or (7) of this section is: (a) Five hundred dollars ($500) or more but less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), in which case it is a Class D felony; or (b) Ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more, in which case it is a Class C felony.

514.050 Theft of property lost, mislaid, or delivered by mistake. (1) Except as provided in KRS 365.710, a person is guilty of theft of property lost, mislaid, or delivered by mistake when: (a) He comes into control of the property of another that he knows to have been lost, mislaid, or delivered under a mistake as to the nature or amount of the property or the identity of the recipient; and (b) With intent to deprive the owner thereof, he fails to take reasonable measures to restore the property to a person entitled to have it. (2) Theft of property lost, mislaid, or delivered by mistake is a Class A misdemeanor unless the value of the property is: (a) Five hundred dollars ($500) or more but less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), in which case it is a Class D felony; or (b) Ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more, in which case it is a Class C felony.

514.060 Theft of services. (1) A person is guilty of theft of services when: (a) The person intentionally obtains services by deception or threat or by false token or other means to avoid payment for the services which he knows are available only for compensation; (b) The person intentionally obtains wireless communications services or access to services by any of the following means: 1. Unauthorized interception of any electronic serial number, mobile identification number, personal identification number, or like identifying number; 2. Unauthorized interception of any cellular service or personal communications service as terms may be defined in 47 C.F.R. parts 22 and 24 respectively; 3. Unauthorized interception of any similar telephone service; or 4. Use of deception, threat, or other means to avoid payment for the services which the person knows are available only for charge or compensation; or (c) Having control over or unauthorized access to the use of the services of others to which the person is not entitled, the person intentionally diverts the services to the person's own benefit or the benefit of another not entitled thereto. (2) Where compensation for services is ordinarily paid immediately upon the rendering of the services, as in the case of hotels and restaurants, refusal to pay or absconding without payment or offer to pay shall be prima facie evidence that the services were obtained by deception as to intention to pay. (3) In any prosecution for theft of gas, water, electricity, or other public service, where the utility supplying the service had installed a meter or other device to record the amount of service supplied, proof that: (a) The meter or other device has been altered, tampered with, or bypassed in a manner so as to prevent or reduce the recording thereof; or (b) Service has been, after having been disconnected by the utility supplying service, reconnected without authorization of the utility shall be prima facie evidence of the intent to commit theft of service by the person or persons obligated to pay for service supplied through the meter or other device. (4) Theft of services is a Class A misdemeanor unless the value of the service is: (a) Five hundred dollars ($500) or more but less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), in which case it is a Class D felony; or (b) Ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more, in which case it is a Class C felony.

514.070 Theft by failure to make required disposition of property. (1) A person is guilty of theft by failure to make required disposition of property received when: (a) He obtains property upon agreement or subject to a known legal obligation to make specified payment or other disposition whether from such property or its proceeds or from his own property to be reserved in equivalent amount; and (b) He intentionally deals with the property as his own and fails to make the required payment or disposition. (2) The provisions of subsection (1) apply notwithstanding that it may be impossible to identify particular property as belonging to the victim at the time of the actor's failure to make the required payment or disposition. (3) An officer or employee of the government or of a financial institution is presumed: (a) To know any legal obligation relevant to his criminal liability under this section; and (b) To have dealt with the property as his own when: 1. He fails to account or pay upon lawful demand; or 2. An audit reveals a shortage or falsification of accounts. (4) Theft by failure to make required disposition of property received is a Class A misdemeanor unless the value of the property is: (a) Five hundred dollars ($500) or more but less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), in which case it is a Class D felony; or (b) Ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more, in which case it is a Class C felony. (5) No person shall be convicted of theft by failure to make required disposition of property received when he or she has also been convicted of a violation of KRS 522.050 arising out of the same incident.

514.110 Receiving stolen property. (1) A person is guilty of receiving stolen property when he receives, retains, or disposes of movable property of another knowing that it has been stolen, or having reason to believe that it has been stolen, unless the property is received, retained, or disposed of with intent to restore it to the owner. (2) The possession by any person of any recently stolen movable property shall be prima facie evidence that such person knew such property was stolen. (3) Receiving stolen property is a Class A misdemeanor unless: (a) The value of the property is five hundred dollars ($500) or more but less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), in which case it is a Class D felony; (b) The value of the property is ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more, in which case it is a Class C felony; (c) The property is a firearm, regardless of the value of the firearm, in which case it is a Class D felony; or (d) The property is anhydrous ammonia, regardless of the value of the ammonia, in which case it is a Class D felony unless it is proven that the person violated this section with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine in violation of KRS 218A.1432, in which case it is a Class B felony for the first offense and a Class A felony for each subsequent offense.