Criminal Conversion & Theft Attorney

Attorney at Law in Illinois & Indiana

Serving Munster, Calumet City, Highland, Gary & Crown Point IN.

Shoplifting & Theft Offenses in Indiana

While many people refer to the crime of shoplifting in every day conversion, in Indiana, there are only 2 categories of stealing: theft & conversion.

Theft is defined in Indiana Code 35-43-4-2 as: A person who knowingly or intentionally exerts unauthorized control over property of another person, with intent to deprive the other person of any part of its value or use. This offense is a Class A misdemeanor.  However, theft can be charged as a Level 6 felony if: (A) the value of the property is at least $750 and less than $50,000; (B) the property is a firearm; or (C) the person has a prior unrelated conviction for theft or criminal conversation.

Conversion Vs. Theft  -- Lake County Indiana Attorney

According to the Indiana criminal code, criminal conversion involves knowingly and intentionally taking temporary control of another person’s property. This can include personal property, such as cars, as well as houses and pieces of land. For example, if a person decides to squat at a vacant home that is owned by someone else, they may be accused of taking temporary control. Conversion differs from theft in that the perpetrator does not have the intention of permanently depriving the owner of possession. However, as of 2014, stealing an item worth less than $750, otherwise known as petty theft, is considered to be a Class A misdemeanor and is punished in the exact same way as criminal conversion.

While this crime is normally treated as a Class A misdemeanor, there are certain case elements, known as aggravating factors, that can result in a felony charge. For example, if a person temporarily steals a car with the intention of committing a crime, the offense may be elevated to a Level 5 felony. Criminal conversion can be upgraded to a Level 6 felony if:

  • The person first acquires the object or property through a lease
  • The property in question is a motorized vehicle
  • The person does not return the property after a written borrower’s agreement has been established

The offense of criminal conversion is defined in Indiana Code 35-43-4-3. Conversion is charged when a person is accused of  knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over property of another person. This crime differs from theft because there is no element of intending to deprive the other person of the value or use of the property. Conversion is a Class A misdemeanor.

When theft is committed, the thief has the intention of depriving the owner of control of the object permanently. Since the indefinite absence of funds or property is a critical element of thievery, many people believe that taking another person’s property for a short period of time will have no consequences. However, “borrowing” or using an object without the permission of the owner does have repercussions. This crime, known as criminal conversion, is taken very seriously. It can be labeled as a misdemeanor or felony that carries fines and years in prison.

If you have been charged with criminal conversion, you may feel as if you are being unfairly accused. Steve E. Haddad Attorney at Law, understands how stressful these situations can be. As a criminal defense attorney, Steve is dedicated in defending his clients from criminal conversion & theft.

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Steve E. Haddad, Attorney At Law

6949 Kennedy Avenue #D
Hammond, IN. 46323
(219) 554-0200

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