Theft / Shoplifting

Being accused of or caught stealing (theft/shoplifting) is a humiliating experience. But even if you believe are guilty of the charge you are facing, do not lose hope. An experienced Indiana criminal defense attorney can often get you a reduced charge, or a reasonable, fair deal.

Most people say that they feel terribly guilty about making a dumb mistake that led to arrest. We understand, but that doesn’t mean you deserve harsh punishment. Everyone deserves a second chance.


But your actions may have been misinterpreted and you are not guilty of the charges against you. Whatever the case, we can help.

We have handled numerous theft cases in the Indiana court system and know what you are facing. We are interested in helping you wade your way through the system. We want to be your advocate in court and fight for your case.

Fines and jail time are not matters to be taken lightly. You likely know this and are very stressed at the prospect of what might happen to you. Even if you are unlikely to be spending any time behind bars, you are facing fines and a permanent criminal record for life. We understand what you are going through and we want to help you get the bet outcome possible.

Indiana Theft -Laws & Penalties

If you are caught knowingly or intentionally controlling someone else’s property with the intent to keep it from them you may be charged with theft.

Theft is a Class D felony punishable by 6 months to 3 years in prison.

However, if the value of the property is more than $100,000 you may face Class C felony charges and a potential sentence of 2-8 years in prison.

Ref: IC 35-43-4-2

Receiving Stolen Property – Penalties

Another theft offense, receiving stolen property or theft by receiving is when you knowingly or intentionally receive, retain, or dispose of stolen property

Receiving stolen property is generally a Class D felony punishable by 6 months to 3 years in prison. If the value of the property is greater than $100,000 the charge is a Class C felony which carries a potential sentence of 2-8 years in prison.

Ref: IC 35-43-4-2

Auto Theft – Penalties

Auto theft is a special class under Indiana theft laws. If you steal a vehicle in order to deprive the owner of it or to exert control over parts you may be charged with this offense.

Auto theft and receiving stolen auto parts are Class D felonies punishable by 6 months to 3 years in prison. If, however, this is your second such charge you will face elevated charges of a Class C felony which carries a harsher sentence of 2-8 years in prison.

Ref: IC 35-43-4-2.5

Conversion – Laws & Penalties

You may be charged with criminal conversion if you knowingly or intentionally exert control over someone else’s property without permission. Criminal conversion is slightly less serious than “theft” because you didn’t show intent to deprive. For instance, if you borrow someone’s property and intend to return it, but don’t have permission, you could face criminal conversion charges.

Criminal conversion, generally, is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and fines reaching $5,000. If the conversion involved converting someone’s vehicle in order to use it in a crime, the charge can be elevated to either a Class D or Class C felony depending on the circumstances. This more serious conversion charge could carry as much as 8 years in prison.

Ref: IC 35-43-4-3

Indiana Shoplifting Laws

There is no specific shoplifting statute under Indiana theft laws. For incidents of shoplifting items valued at under $250, you are generally charged with criminal conversion, a Class A misdemeanor.

If you steal items valued at greater than $250, you are generally charged with a Class D Felony theft offense.

However, if you are suspected of being part of an organized retail crime group, you will most likely be charged with felony shoplifting/theft regardless of the amount you personally attempted to take.

Free Legal Consultation on Theft Laws & Defense in Indiana

Indiana courts take theft charges very seriously and you need to respond and defend yourself likewise.

You can’t settle for less than an aggressive and experienced defense attorney when facing charges like this. Your lawyer can be critical to get you fair and just treatment under the law. Call today for a consultation on your Indiana theft/shoplifting case.

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