When Do Theft Crimes Become a Felony in Wyoming?
If you were charged with theft in Wyoming, you may be wondering, When does stealing become a felony? Theft charges and penalties in Wyoming vary depending on the facts of the case and the value of the stolen property. When stealing changes from a misdemeanor to a felony, the consequences can be significant.
Whether you face a misdemeanor or a felony theft, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you get the best outcome for your case.
Theft Charge Laws in Wyoming
In Wyoming, a person is guilty of theft if he or she knowingly takes the property of another person with the intent to deprive that person of the property. Note that the law states the theft must be done knowingly. This means that to be charged with theft in Wyoming you must have intended to steal the property in question.
The Difference Between a Misdemeanor Theft and Felony Theft
Theft can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of the stolen property as well as the underlying facts of the case. For example, if the defendant used a firearm during the theft, then it may be charged as aggravated robbery or burglary. Both charges carry harsher potential penalties than misdemeanor or felony theft.
Misdemeanor Theft Laws in Wyoming
If the stolen property is worth less than $1,000, the theft will be charged as a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor theft is punishable by a fine of up to $750, up to 6 months in jail, or both. Examples of theft charged as misdemeanors in Wyoming include:
- Auto theft;
- Defrauding an innkeeper;
- Obtaining property by false pretenses;
- Unlawful use of theft detection shielding device;
- Breaking into a coin machine;
- Taking possession of land; and
- Telecommunications fraud.
Although these crimes commonly result in misdemeanor charges, they can be charged as felonies if the value of the stolen property exceeds $1,000.
Felony Theft Laws in Wyoming
If the stolen property is worth $1,000 or more, the theft will be charged as a felony. Felony theft is also sometimes known as grand theft. A felony theft is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, up to 10 years in jail, or both.
Other theft crimes that are charged as felonies in Wyoming include:
- Auto theft (may depend on the value of the stolen car);
- Possession of tools to commit burglary; and
- Cattle or livestock theft.
Penalties for the above offenses include up to 10 years in jail and fines of up to $10,000.
Contact a Defense Attorney Today
Cowboy Country Criminal Defense is a team of passionate Casper-based criminal defense attorneys. We represent defendants across Wyoming in all kinds of criminal cases. Contact us today online or by calling 307-333-7884. We will work with you to develop your case, step by step and fight for the best outcome.