Nebraska classifies theft as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the nature of the crime and the value of the stolen property. The penalties for theft increase with the value of the property stolen. That said, the categories of theft in Nebraska include the following:
Class IIA felony theft: For property valued at $5,000 or more.
Class IV felony theft: For property valued between $1,500 and $5,000.
Class I misdemeanor theft: For property valued between $500 and $1,500.
Class II misdemeanor theft: For property valued at $500 or less.
What Are the Penalties for Felony and Misdemeanor Theft in Nebraska?
Nebraska imposes the following penalties for theft and misdemeanor in the State.
As mentioned, the penalties for felony theft in Nebraska depend on the value of the stolen property. For example, a Class IIA felony theft carries a penalty of 0-20 years incarceration. On the other hand, a Class IV felony carries a penalty of up to 2 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000, and post release supervision if sentenced to incarceration.
Individuals charged with Class I misdemeanor theft could face up to a year in jail and/or a fine not exceeding $1,000. For a Class II misdemeanor theft, they risk facing up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
What Are Some Common Theft Offenses in Nebraska?
Shoplifting occurs when someone takes merchandise from a store without paying for it.
- Theft by deception occurs when someone uses deception or false representation to obtain another person’s property or services. Examples include using a stolen credit card.
- Embezzlement, which often involves someone in a position of trust, such as an employee, taking money or property belonging to their employer for personal use.
- Theft of services, this misdemeanor occurs when someone obtains services, such as dining at a restaurant and failing to pay the check.
- Theft of property, which occurs when someone takes property belonging to someone else without their consent.
Can You Be Charged for Receiving Stolen Property in Nebraska?
According to Nebraska law, you can be charged if you receive, retain, or dispose of stolen movable property of another party, knowing or believing that it has been stolen. However, you may be able to avoid a conviction if you prove that you received, retained, or disposed of the stolen property with the intent to restore it to the owner.
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What Are Some Possible Defenses to Theft Cases in Nebraska?
It Was a Case of Mistaken Identity
Did you know that mistaken identity is one of the leading causes of wrongful convictions in Nebraska and throughout the United States? This explains why many states, including Nebraska, have implemented eyewitness identification reforms to address this issue. From a legal standpoint, a skilled attorney can argue that the conviction was a case of mistaken identity.
You Did Not Intend to Steal
The prosecutor must establish that you intended to steal the property. Without such proof, you will likely not face theft charges. For this reason, your attorney can fight back by claiming that you did not intend to steal or that you believed you had a right to the property in question.
You Had Consent
You may also argue that you had the owner’s consent to take the property in question or that you were authorized to take it.
You Owned the Property
You cannot be charged with theft if you took what was rightfully yours. Again, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help prove this aspect.
Entrapment or Duress
You may not have a case to answer if you were induced by law enforcement to commit the theft, and you would not have done so otherwise. Similarly, if you were threatened or coerced into committing the theft and you had no other choice, your attorney may be able to use that as a defense.
It is worth noting that each case is unique. Therefore, the specific circumstances of your case will determine the best line of defense against the charges filed against you. This is why contacting Berry Law for a case evaluation is crucial.
What Are My Rights if I Have Been Accused of Theft in Nebraska?
Nebraska laws protect you if you have been charged with theft. Precisely, you have the right to:
- Refuse to answer any questions law enforcement or prosecutors pose without an attorney;
- Be presumed innocent until proven guilty;
- A fair trial by a jury of your peers;
- Cross-examine the witnesses against you in court;
- Present evidence and witnesses in your defense; and
- Appeal your conviction to a higher court.
Why Do I Need a Theft Defense Lawyer if I’m Innocent?
Very few things are as painful as a wrongful conviction. Such a conviction could ruin your life, career, and even relationships. That is where a theft defense lawyer comes in.
A theft defense lawyer can help you understand your rights, and help protect them throughout the legal process.
Theft defense attorneys know how to navigate Nebraska’s complicated legal system. They know how to identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and leverage them to obtain a favorable outcome. An attorney can also negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor that may result in reduced charges or a lighter sentence.
Why Should I Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney From Berry Law?
Having a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer in your corner when facing criminal charges is essential.
Berry Law is a top-rated criminal defense firm that has been offering legal services to clients since 1965. We have received numerous accolades over the years, notably the Criminal Defense Law Firm of the Year – Nebraska, USA 2020 and the Leading State and Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer of the Year, Nebraska 2020. These awards reflect our dedication to providing exceptional legal services to our clients and our commitment to excellence in criminal defense.
Our-award winning criminal defense attorneys handle federal and state cases in Nebraska and Iowa. So, regardless of the offense, whether State or federal, you can count on us to defend your rights and help secure a favorable outcome.
Any attorney or law firm can claim to be great at what they do, but results speak louder than words. At Berry Law, we have a proven track record of success in criminal defense. For over five decades, we have helped clients facing a wide range of criminal charges, including drug crimes, white-collar crimes, sex crimes, and more, obtain positive outcomes.
Charged With A Crime? Let Our Award-Winning Lawyers Defend You
The award-winning criminal defense lawyers at Berry Law understand the stress and uncertainty of being charged with a crime. That is why we are here to help you or your loved one. We can provide effective legal representation and help you navigate Nebraska’s laws to your advantage, whether you are facing state or federal charges.
Don’t let a criminal conviction define your future. We are on standby 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to discuss your case with you and provide the defense you need to overcome these stressful and challenging times.
You can contact us online, call us at 402-704-8180, text us, or visit our office in Omaha, Lincoln, or Council Bluffs to learn more about how we can help you or your loved one overcome these stressful times.