A thief didn’t get what he was hoping for when he accosted a street vendor in Vancouver last week. According to the Columbian, the woman selling produce on Fourth Plain Blvd. only had $6 in her apron pocket. Despite this small denomination, the man who took it from her is facing very serious charges.
According to the alleged victim and witnesses, the thief approached the vendor and demanded money. When she told him she didn’t have any, he reached into her apron pocket and pulled out the $6. The 34 year old man left the scene but was later arrested.
Typically, when charges of theft are levied, the classification is dependent on the amount of money that was taken. However, the fact that this suspect reached into the woman’s apron to forcefully take the money warrants a potential felony charge like robbery. Even if he had only taken $1 this could be charged as a felony.
First degree theft is usually reserved for thefts of more than $1,500 and typically carries up to a 43 month prison sentence. Depending on the defendant’s criminal history, though, it isn’t likely he will serve anywhere near this amount of time.
This case makes a good point which is: small nuances in your particular case can drastically change the charge and potential penalty you face. Another example is committing a felony and committing a felony with a firearm. The firearm, even if it is not used, can drastically elevate the charges against you.
Your criminal history is another thing that can drastically change the outcome of your case, particularly when it comes time to discuss plea agreements or sentencing. A judge is far less likely to be lenient with someone who is repeatedly in front of the court.
It is difficult to grasp all of the small legal nuances that can affect your case. And while you should be concerned about how they affect you, there’s no shame in depending on your defense attorney to explain it all to you. As your lawyer, that’s his or her job.