Contact Us for a Free Consultation (256) 533-4529

Theft of property in the third degree

What exactly is the crime of theft of property in third-degree Alabama?

Before we discuss the details of this law, it's helpful to see the actual law itself which is reproduced here:

Theft of property in the third degree

(a) The theft of property that exceeds five hundred dollars ($500) in value but does not exceed one thousand four hundred and ninety-nine dollars ($1,499) in value, and which is not taken from the person of another, constitutes theft of property in the third degree.

(b) Theft of property in the third degree is a Class D felony.

(c) The theft of a credit card or a debit card, regardless of its value, constitutes theft of property in the third degree.

Alabama Code 13A-8-4.1

According to our laws, the theft of property that exceeds $500 but less than $1499 and by is theft third-degree.

The more serious crime of in, the second degree occurs when somebody steals something with a value of thousand $1500 up to $2500.

So, let's pretend we have a friend named “Scott Free.” Mr. Free is charged with theft second. He goes to trial. At trial, he's represented by attorney Lou Pohl. The state of Alabama is represented by prosecutor Izzy Hapless.

At trial, the evidence is that the property Scott stole is worth exactly $1499.99.The prosecutor argues that even though it's less than the $1500 required for of theft, second degree Scott is still guilty of the lesser offense of theft, third.

Scott's lawyer, Lou Pohl succeeds in having him acquitted. 


His lawyer recognizes a hole in the law. To be guilty of theft, third-degree the amount must be under $1499.00, but the crime of theft, second the amount must be at least $1500. The evidence at trial is that the amount Mr. Free stole was $1499.99 so he stole too little to be charged with theft second but too much to be charged with theft third.

His lawyer, Lou Pohl recognized this and was able to get Mr. Free's charges dismissed. Mr. Free hadn't committed a crime recognized by Alabama law.

In the next case, a woman named Mina N. Fraction steals a credit card. Unfortunately for her, the card was expired and had no value. Mina is charged with theft second and consults with her lawyer, Mal Practze.

He tells her the amount required for theft third is from $1500 to $2499. Mal advises her since the card has no value, they should go to trial. She gets convicted.

Mina appears at sentencing before Judge Celia Fate. The judge correctly explains the other way theft third can be committed is when somebody steals a credit or debit card and this is regardless of its value.

The judge explains Minas' crime is a class D felony. The punishment is from a year and a day to five years in prison and a fine as high as $7500. Mina is sentenced five years in prison and ordered to pay the $7500 fine. Which by the way, isn't fine Mina.

The old saying is it's not the snake in the grass you see that gets you. It's the one you don't.

If you're charged with a crime you should get the best lawyer you can.

If your crime is in Huntsville or North Alabama, and you'd like our help, feel free to call us.