THEFT, FORGERY & FRAUD

In Iowa, the seriousness of the charge for theft offenses depends on the amount of loss and prior convictions. A simple shoplifting case of property valued under $200.00 will carry less serious punishment than other types of theft, unless the accused has prior convictions.

Examples of theft offenses are charged as follows:

  • Property not exceeding $200.00 –5th Degree, a simple misdemeanor
  • Property value of $200.01 and $500.00 – 4th Degree, a serious misdemeanor
  • Property value of $500.01 and $1,000.00 – 3rd Degree, an aggravated misdemeanor
  • Property valued between $1,000.01 and $10,000.00 – 2nd Degree, a class D felony
  • Property exceeding $10,000.00 –1st Degree, a class C felony

*If the property involved was a motor vehicle, the level of offense is 2nd Degree for any vehicle up to $10,000 in value and 1st Degree for any motor vehicle valued in excess of $10,000.

The value of the property will determined from the highest value by any reasonable standard, including retail value, replacement value, or market value. If, for example, the replacement value of the property was $1,001 but the market value was $900 the theft can be charged as a felony.

Contact a Iowa criminal defense lawyer representing clients in Nevada, Iowa today to schedule your free initial consultation.

The crime of Fraudulent Practices (Fraud) can be committed many different ways. It can involve the mislabeling of retail merchandise, executing a false affidavit, unlawful receipt of government benefits (sometimes called welfare fraud), or improper transfer of taxable property. The penalties again range from a simple misdemeanor to a class C felony depending on prior convictions and the value of the property or service received. Where the fraud did not involve a service or property the penalty is generally an aggravated misdemeanor.

Forgery

The most common type of forgery case involves an allegation that a person made, altered, executed, issued, transferred, or uttered a document or financial instrument with the intent to facilitate a fraud or injure anyone. The charge can be filed as a Class D felony where any of the following situations are involved:

  • The writing or document involves money, securities, postage, or other instruments issued by the government (the State equivalent of counterfeiting)
  • The forgery involves a check, draft, or other writing that evidences a financial or other obligation
  • The forgery involves stocks, bonds, credit sales contacts, or other instruments representing a claim or interest in any property or enterprise
  • The documents involved are proscribed by law for entry into the country or to stay or work in this country (immigration documents)

A conviction for any type of theft can affect your future employment more than other crimes. Employers usually investigate potential employees by running a criminal background check. Many employers will not hire persons with a theft conviction for fear that they are not trustworthy and honest. People who are just out of school or looking to start a new career are most at risk for these types of negative consequences of a theft conviction.

We have handled many theft, forgery and fraud cases in Iowa. Contact us to discuss your rights, defenses, and potential outcomes to any case for which you have been charged or are being investigated.


If you would like to schedule a free initial consultation contact an Iowa criminal defense accident attorney, representing clients in Ames, Iowa at the Feuerhelm Law Office, P.C. Give us a call at (515) 266-5552.