Criminal Defense Attorney Columbia, South Carolina

Burglary and Theft Attorney in Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia, SC defense lawyer Matt Bodman wants to work with you

State criminal defense attorney Matt Bodman understands the serious consequences of a burglary or theft conviction. He has a great deal of experience defending people charged with theft and burglary - and protecting their interests and freedom. He began his career as a prosecutor in Richland County, a position that gave him a deep understanding of courtroom tactics and strategies. Since 2002, he has used those skills to defend people in South Carolina accused of burglary and other crimes.

Attorney Bodman knows what facts to search for and how to build a strong legal argument. With a deep understanding of courtroom tactics and strategies, he's also prepared to take your case to court if necessary. Call right now for a free, no-obligation consultation to find out how an experienced defense lawyer can help: (866) 487-9077.

What's the difference between theft, burglary and robbery?

Burglary, theft and robbery are very different crimes, and even within each category, there are subtle differences between different types of burglaries, thefts or robberies. That's why South Carolina's legal system has specific laws governing each criminal charge listed below:

  • Theft - This charge involves taking someone else's property without his or her permission. In general, theft usually involves money or physical objects like a stolen car or merchandise stolen from a store. Theft charges vary according to the value of the stolen items. The state of South Carolina's theft laws divide thefts into three different values:
    • Less than $2,000
    • $2,000 to $10,000
    • Over $10,000
  • Burglary - This form of theft involves unlawfully entering a property with the intent of stealing something. You do not have to actually steal to be charged with burglary. You can also be charged with burglary even if you don't completely enter the building you are planning to rob. This includes partially entering a building through a door or window that you intend to rob. South Carolina law splits burglary into three degrees of severity.
    • Third-degree burglary - A person enters a building without the consent of the owner with the intent to commit a crime such as theft. Such crimes can occur during daytime or nighttime hours.
    • Second-degree burglary - The accused breaks into a house with the intent to commit a crime.
    • First-degree burglary - The most serious burglary charge. Usually reserved for particularly violent nighttime cases or cases involving a large number of previous offenses.
  • Robbery - This form of theft specifically involves taking something from someone by force or threatening to use force. Such use of force can even include instructing a person to open a cash register or bank vault in order to commit a theft. The person giving the instructions does not even have to have a weapon to be charged with robbery. Simply making a verbal threat if the other person does not comply is often enough for someone to be charged with robbery.

What are the penalties for a theft conviction?

The penalties for theft in South Carolina vary depending on the value of the stolen property. "Petit larceny" or petty theft is the term used for the charge of stealing property valued at $2,000 or less. The penalty for petit larceny: up to a $1,000 fine and up to 30 days in prison.

If someone steals property worth more than $2,000, the charge for that crime in South Carolina is "Grand Larceny" or Grand Theft. You can learn more about Grand Larceny below on this page.

What are the penalties for a burglary conviction?

The penalties for the three main burglary categories in South Carolina include:

  • Third-degree burglary (First Offense) - Punishable by up to 5 years in prison
  • Third-degree burglary (Second Offense) - Up to 10 years in prison
  • Second-degree burglary - Up to 15 years in prison
  • First-degree burglary - 15 years minimum to life in prison

Penalties vary widely depending on the circumstances of the robbery, especially if the robbery was violent or anyone was seriously injured during the incident. An example of the most violent type of burglaries can include home invasions.

What are the penalties for a robbery conviction?

Like the penalties for burglary, South Carolina robbery penalties vary depending on the degree of violence involved in the crime. The penalties include:

  • Attempted robbery - Up to 20 years in prison
  • Armed robbery - Mandatory minimum of 10 years to 30 years in prison

What other types of burglary/theft cases does attorney Bodman handle?

South Carolina has numerous laws for specific burglary and theft cases. Some of the most common cases we deal with at our law firm include:

Many other laws exist for other burglary and theft crimes in South Carolina. Don't try to decipher such complicated laws on your own. You have too much to risk if you are convicted of such a serious charge. Get a former prosecutor on your side.

Grand Larceny

What is grand larceny in South Carolina?

Grand larceny involves the theft of anything worth more than $2,000. Like other theft charges, grand larceny is a crime that does not involve physical violence or the threat of violence to another person. All grand larceny charges are classified as felonies. South Carolina divides grand larceny charges into two categories:

  • Theft of property valued more than $2,000 but less than $10,000 - Fines vary, up to 5 years in prison.
  • Theft of property valued more than $10,000 - Fines vary, up to 10 years in prison.

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Will I go to jail for shoplifting in South Carolina?

Serving time in jail is a real possibility if you are convicted of shoplifting in South Carolina. You can be charged with shoplifting if you steal merchandise from a store. Other reasons why you might be charged with shoplifting include removing price tags or trying to deceive a store owner in some way.

Along with the criminal penalties listed below, a store owner might even file a lawsuit against you to recover damages and other expenses. The penalties for shoplifting in South Carolina include:

  • Shoplifting merchandise valued $2,000 or less (Misdemeanor) - Up to $1,000 fine and up to 30 days in jail
  • Shoplifting merchandise valued more than $2,000 and less than $10,000 (Felony) - Up to $1,000 fine and up to 5 years in jail
  • Shoplifting merchandise valued $10,000 or more (Felony) - Up to 10 years in jail

In some cases, people charged with such crimes are sometimes able to avoid prosecution by enrolling in pretrial intervention programs and diversion programs designed to rehabilitate offenders. Other times, a skilled attorney might be able to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor. Attorney Bodman thoroughly understands all the legal options available to people charged with shoplifting and wants to work with you.

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