Under Alabama law, are different ways this crime can be committed.
Let me teach this with four stories.
Mr. Gill T. Azell decides steals the Huntsville Rocket Queens crown jewels, worth $2000. If he steals the jewels off the shelf at the Space and Rocket Center, he is guilty of theft second-degree because the first (and most common) way this crime is committed is when someone steals property with a value of between $1500 and $2500. Gil goes to trial before Judge Laura Norder. He is represented by lawyer “Hope LeScase”.
He is found guilty. Judge Laura Norder explains the range of punishment is from one year and a day to 10 years in prison with a fine of up to $15,000 for the crime of theft second-degree. Because it's his first offense he sentenced only one year and a day.
Once Gill T. Azell finishes his sentence he once again consults his lawyer, “Hope LeScase” who tells him, correctly, that under Alabama law the definition of
theft second-degree specifically excludes property taken from the person of another.
This time Gill snatches the rocket Queens crown jewels off of her head. Unfortunately, the lawyer failed to tell him that when you use force to accomplish a theft you will be charged with robbery. Gil appears before Judge Celia Fate on robbery where he's given a long sentence.
The next story:
Miss. “Ida Nayit” steals an old rusty shotgun worth $25 hanging over the fireplace at Cracker Barrel.
Ida is caught.
In court, she is represented by lawyer Mahl Practice who tells her the crime should be a misdemeanor since the gun is worth under $1500.
Nevertheless, Ida is convicted of theft second.
Because the theft of a firearm, rifle or shotgun- regardless of value, is also Theft second, it's just another way the crime can be committed.
Ms. B. Haven steals one oxycodone pill from her friend's home. She's caught.
She also hires lawyer Mahl Practice.
Mahl tells her that a single oxycodone pill is not worth anywhere near $1500; he advises she will be found not guilty of theft second degree.
After trial, Ms. B. Haven is shocked when she's found guilty.
Why? Because the theft of any controlled substance, regardless of value, constitutes theft second degree.
For our last story, Upton O'good steals a rabbit worth $15 from a petting zoo.
He is charged with theft of property second-degree because a provision of this law says the theft of any livestock, regardless of value, constitutes the theft second.
Upton hires lawyer Lou Phol, he gets the charges dismissed.
How did he win?
He won because the definition of livestock under Alabama law doesn't include rabbits.
Let's hope no one you love is charged with a crime.
The law can be tricky and anyone charged with a crime should obtain the best lawyer they can.
If you're in a legal jam in Huntsville or North Alabama just give us a call if you want our help. Our number's below.
If you'd like to read the actual law, it is reproduced below.
Alabama Code Title 13A. Criminal Code § 13A-8-4
(a) The theft of property between one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) in value and two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) in value, and which is not taken from the person of another, constitutes theft of property in the second degree.
(b) Theft of property in the second degree is a Class C felony.
(c) The theft of a firearm, rifle, or shotgun, regardless of its value, constitutes theft of property in the second degree.
(d) The theft of any substance controlled by Chapter 2 of Title 20 or any amendments thereto, regardless of value, constitutes theft of property in the second degree.
(e) The theft of any livestock which includes cattle, swine, equine or equidae, or sheep, regardless of their value, constitutes theft of property in the second degree.
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