Fargo Theft Defense Lawyers - Sand Law North Dakota
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Fargo Theft Defense Lawyers

Being arrested for any form of theft can be not only scary but also confusing. You might not know whether you’ll be fine turning to a public defender or if you should consider hiring a private Fargo criminal defense lawyer. You might be frightened because you don’t know the consequences of being convicted.

An attorney with Sand Law is ready to help. We have a long track record of successfully defending people charged with theft and a wide variety of other crimes. We’ll be able to tell you what to expect through every step of your case, and we’ll be by your side for all of it. If we can, we’ll try to have your charge thrown out. If that’s not possible, however, we’ll work to have your penalties reduced.

If you would like a free case evaluation, please call us at 701-609-1510 or use our online contact form.

The Four Types of Theft

The four types of theft are shoplifting, larceny, burglary and robbery. All forms of theft can result in significant criminal charges and penalties, including fines and imprisonment. The severity of the penalties depends on the type of theft and the value of the property stolen. Here’s a brief look at each.


Shoplifting is a form of theft that involves taking merchandise from a retail store without paying for it. The punishment you face depends on the value of stolen goods and jurisdiction. The retailer may press charges even if they recover the goods.


Burglary is a type of theft that involves illegal entry into a building with the intent to commit a crime, usually theft. It can occur during the day or at night and can take place in a residential or commercial setting. The use of force isn’t required for an act to be considered burglary, and someone can commit this crime simply by entering the building with the intent to steal. Depending on the jurisdiction, the penalties for burglary can range from a fine to a long-term prison sentence.


Robbery involves the use of force or threat of force to take property from another person. It’s a severe crime that can result in physical harm to the victim and emotional trauma. The penalties for robbery can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the severity of the crime but can include a lengthy prison term and a significant fine.


Larceny is the unlawful taking of someone else’s property without the use of force. It can occur in many forms, including shoplifting, pickpocketing, and embezzlement. Larceny is typically classified as a property crime and can result in criminal charges and penalties, including fines and imprisonment.

Steps to Take After You’re Arrested for Theft

If you’ve been arrested for theft, it’s essential to take the following steps:

  • Remain calm and exercise your right to remain silent. Don’t make any statements to the police without an attorney present.
  • Contact a criminal defense attorney. An experienced attorney can advise you on your rights and defend you in court.
  • Gather information and evidence related to your case, such as receipts or witnesses.
  • Cooperate with the legal process, including appearing in court as required.
  • Prepare for court by discussing your case with your attorney and understanding the charges and potential consequences.

Penalties and Consequences for Committing Theft in Fargo, North Dakota

In North Dakota, the penalties and consequences for committing theft can vary depending on the value of the property stolen and the circumstances of the crime. Theft can be a misdemeanor or a felony, with more severe penalties for higher-value property and the use of force or threats of force.

  • For theft of property valued at less than $500, the penalties can include fines of up to $2,000 and imprisonment of up to 365 days.
  • For property theft valued at more than $10,000, the penalties can include a fine of as much as $10,000 and a prison term of up to 10 years.

Additionally, a conviction for theft can result in a permanent criminal record, impacting future employment and other opportunities. You’ll need the help of a criminal defense attorney to understand the specific penalties and consequences in your case.

The Broader Implications of a Theft Conviction

Beyond the immediate legal penalties, a theft conviction can have lasting repercussions on one’s life. Personal relationships may be strained due to the stigma associated with criminal convictions.

Professionally, individuals might face challenges in securing employment, as many employers conduct background checks. Additionally, educational opportunities and housing applications might be affected. Recognizing these broader implications underscores the importance of a robust legal defense and understanding one’s rights.

Reasons a Theft Case Might be Thrown Out

The court can throw out a theft case for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • A lack of evidence – The court can dismiss the case if the prosecution doesn’t have enough evidence to prove the theft beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Improper search and seizure – Your case could also be thrown out if the police obtained the evidence through an illegal search or seizure.
  • Entrapment – If police induced or coerced you into committing the theft, the case can be dismissed.

Each case is unique, and the reasons for a case being thrown out can vary. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help to determine if there are any grounds for a case to be thrown out and provide a strong defense.

How to Have Your Sentence Reduced

There are several ways to have your sentence reduced if the court convicts you, including the following:

  • Plea bargaining – In some cases, the prosecution may offer a plea bargain in exchange for a guilty plea. This can result in a reduced sentence.
  • Cooperation with the prosecution – The prosecution may agree to reduce your sentence if you provide valuable information or testimony in another case,
  • Sentencing alternatives – In some cases, the court may consider alternative sentences, such as probation, house arrest, or community service.
  • Appeal – If there are errors in the original trial, you may be able to have your sentence reduced through the appeals process.

The Role of Restitution in Theft Cases

In many theft cases, the court may order the offender to pay restitution to the victim. This is a monetary compensation meant to cover the value of the stolen items or any related damages. Restitution can be a way for offenders to make amends and take responsibility for their actions.

It’s essential for individuals facing theft charges to understand the potential for restitution, how it might impact their financial situation and the overall resolution of their case.

How Can a Fargo Theft Attorney Help You?

There are a lot of ways an attorney can help. Your legal representative will protect your rights, examine the evidence against you, and look for weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.

An attorney will also work to build the most vigorous defense possible and argue on your behalf in court. Experienced attorneys also have relationships with prosecutors, which could result in a reduction of your penalties. There’s also a chance your lawyer could have your charges dismissed.

Get in Touch With Sand Law

Schedule a free consultation with Sand Law by calling 701-609-1510 or contacting us online.