Shoplifting / Theft

Under Ohio theft laws, shoplifting/theft charges range from the somewhat minor to the very serious. Whether you are only facing fines or at real risk of prison time for a high value theft, a criminal conviction on your record is something you want to avoid at all costs. Call us for a consultation on your Ohio theft charge today.

Most theft offenses in Ohio are committed by decent people who made a bad decision at a seemly desperate time. Whether you admit you were stealing something you needed and couldn’t afford or if you forgot to pay for an item as you left the store, sometimes the law doesn’t have much sympathy. We do.


So if you made a mistake, we understand how that can happen. But that doesn’t mean you deserve harsh treatment under the law. We have handled numerous theft cases in Ohio and know the types of penalties you are facing. And we are prepared to fight for a dismissal of the charges or a minimal sentence in the interests of fairness.

Of course, it is also very possible you are accused of something you didn’t do intentionally. If it was a simple mistake, and someone filed a criminal complaint or store security got out of hand, then we are fully prepared to go to bat for you, and fight for a fair hearing in criminal court. You don’t deserve to be branded as a criminal with a possibly permanent record.

Whatever the case, we offer a free legal case evaluation to anyone accused of theft or shoplifting in Ohio. So please contact us today to take advantage, and find out for yourself what we can do to help you.

Ohio Theft Laws & Penalties

You may be charged with theft if you take control of someone else property or services with the purpose of depriving them:

  • Without permission,
  • By deception,
  • By threat, or
  • By intimidation.

The seriousness of the charges and penalties in a theft case is dependent on the value of the goods or services allegedly taken.

Theft Items/ValueChargeSentence
Up to $5001st degree misdemeanorUp to 6 months in jail and $1,000 in fines.
$500- $5,0005th degree felony6-12 months in prison and $2,500 in fines
$5,000- $100,0004th degree felony, grand theft6-18 months in prison and $5,000 in fines
$100,000- $500,0003rd degree felony, aggravated theft1-5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines
$500,000- $1 million2nd degree felony, aggravated theft2-8 years in prison and $15,000 in fines
More than $1 million1st degree felony3-10 years in prison and up to $20,000.

There are several circumstances that can elevate the charge. For instance if the item stolen is a firearm, involves drugs, or is taken from the elderly you will face an elevated charge with more severe penalties.

Ref: ORC 2913.02

Ohio Unauthorized use of a Vehicle – Laws & Penalties

Theft of a stolen car is known as unauthorized use of a vehicle under Ohio theft laws. If you are in operation of a vehicle without consent of the owner you may be charged with this theft offense. Unauthorized use of a vehicle is generally a 1st degree misdemeanor with a potential 6 month jail sentence and fines up to $1,000.

However, if you cross state lines or keep the vehicle for a period more than 48 hours the charge is elevated to a 5th degree felony punishable by 6-12 months in prison and $2,500 in fines.

Ref: ORC 2913.03

Get the Help you Need On A Criminal Theft Charge in Ohio

Regardless of what happened, any theft of shoplifting charge is a criminal matter requiring serious action to protect yourself in court. As Ohio criminal defense lawyers, that’s what we do.

There are a number of legitimate legal defenses to theft charges and your case may qualify under one of these defenses. Please Call today to discuss the circumstances surrounding your Ohio shoplifting/theft case. The initial consultation is free, and without further obligation.

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