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Theft of property in the first degree

There are different ways the crime of theft of property in the first-degree can be committed under Alabama law.
 In the above video and in this post we talk about the ways this law can be committed. But, if you want to review the law before we get into interpreting it, here it is:

Theft of property in the first degree

(a) The theft of property which exceeds two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) in value, or property of any value taken from the person of another, constitutes theft of property in the first degree.

(b) The theft of a motor vehicle, regardless of its value, constitutes theft of property in the first degree.

(c)(1) The theft of property which involves all of the following constitutes theft of property in the first degree:  

a. The theft is a common plan or scheme by one or more persons;  and

b. The object of the common plan or scheme is to sell or transfer the property to another person or business that buys the property with knowledge or reasonable belief that the property is stolen;  and

c. The aggregate value of the property stolen is at least one thousand dollars ($1,000) within a 180-day period.

(2) If the offense under this subsection involves two or more counties, prosecution may be commenced in any one of those counties in which the offense occurred or in which the property was disposed.

(d) Theft of property in the first degree is a Class B felony.

Alabama Code Title 13A. Criminal Code § 13A-8-3

Let's play “You be the Judge, and see if you can figure out who is guilty in the following examples:
Billy Ewell, infamous jewel thief, steals a ring worth $2500.01 from the “Family Jewels Jewelry Store.”
Unfortunately for Billy, officer Buster Knut
s is working undercover at the store and he busts Billy as soon as he leaves the store.
What's Billy's crime?
Billy is guilty of Top 1.
The crime of theft first degree can be committed in different ways.
In fact, three different ways under Alabama law.
The first, and the most common is when somebody steals property that's worth at least $2500 or more in value.
That's what Billy did so he's properly charged with TOP 1.
The statutory punishment is from 2 to 20 years in the slammer. Billy is guilty, but, luckily for him, Alabama has changed its sentencing rules so he may be able to dodge prison even though caught red-handed.
New story:
Whiskey Pete is passed out drunk. He was trying to call his girlfriend on his cell phone but passed out with it in his hand. It's a crummy phone, worth $50. 
While Whiskey Pete is passed out, Hot Hands Harry walks by. Harry steals the phone from Whiskey Pete's hand. Unfortunately for hairy officer Buster Kuntz is on the beat; he catches Harry red-handed. 
What's Harry guilty of? 
Theft first degree.
If the phone was only worth $50 how can he be guilty of theft first degree when I just said theft first occurs when somebody steals something with a value of $2500 or more? 
Hot Hands is guilty because this crime is also committed if the property is taken from “the person of another”. When that happens, it doesn't matter the value of the property. 
Hot Hands is guilty even though the cell phone was only worth $50.
After Hot Hands and Billy “Jewels” Ewell make bond for their crimes they both manage to get jobs as chicken pluckers at the Mother Plucker Chicken Plant. 
Together they hatch a plan to sell stolen chickens to Colonel Blunder owner of the Colonel Blunders fried chicken restaurants.  They tell the Colonel they can sell him stolen chickens. The Colonel likes the idea and in 180 days Hot Hands and Billy Steal and the Colonel buys $1001 worth of chickens.
Unfortunately, it turns out that officer Buster Kuntz on the prowl: he realizes something is afoul and he cracks this three-ring crime team.
So what crime are our 3 fowl fiends guilty of?
Theft first degree.
Their goose, err chicken, is cooked. The yolks on them.
Let me unscramble this:
The third-way theft first-degree can be committed also doesn't require a minimum of $2500 in value. Under this provision, if one or more people hatch a common scheme or plan to take somebody else's property and sell it to another person who's in on the gig, and the total amount of stolen goods is at least $1000 within a period of 180 days the crime is, once again, theft first degree. 
Of course, we hope you've not run afoul of the law but if you have and you would like our help just give us a call.
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