New Hampshire Theft Laws
According to FBI crime rate data, larceny and theft crimes are the most commonly reported crimes in the states of New Hampshire. Under chapter 637 of New Hampshire's criminal code, there are a number of theft crimes that a person can be charged with. If you are accused of any of these crimes in New Hampshire, contact a criminal defense lawyer right away to find out more about your defense options.
- Theft by taking: A person commits theft by taking or transfer when they seize control of property without permission with the intent to deprive the owner of it. This is also known as larceny by trespassory taking, larceny by conversion and embezzlement.
- Willful concealment: This crime occurs when a person willfully and without authority conceals goods or merchandise in a store. On its own this is only a misdemeanor charge. However, willful concealment becomes a theft crime if the suspect:
- Takes the items out of the store
- Alters, transfers or removes the price tag on the merchandise
- Causes the cash register to charge a different price than the actual price of the merchandise
- Transfers merchandise from its original container to another one
- Theft by deception: This crime occurs when a person gains control over property of another by using trickery or deception. This can include misrepresenting themselves, failing to correct a false impression, etc.
- Theft by extortion: A person commits theft by extortion if they gain control of another person's property by threatening harm come to them in some form. This can be by threatening violence or committing another crime.
- Receiving stolen property: It is also a crime to receive stolen property in New Hampshire if they know that it has been stolen or believe that it may have been stolen. A dealer who receives stolen property is presumed to have knowledge of the fact if:
- They have been caught with stolen property on 2 or more occasions
- Been previously charged with receiving stolen property within the past year
- Purchased property for a price much lower than average value
- Purchased stolen property from an undercover officer
- Theft of lost property: Taking lost property is a theft crime if the defendant does not make a good-faith attempt to return the property to the rightful owner.
- Theft of services: A person can also steal services as well as property. This can occur when someone receives services for which they know are available for compensation only by using deception.
Penalties for Theft Crimes in New Hampshire
Theft crimes can result in steep penalties. Most theft crimes are felonies unless they are valued under $1,000. The seriousness of a charge, however, depends on the circumstances of the crime. Under New Hampshire's Criminal Code, RSA 637:11:
Theft crimes are charged as Class A felonies if:
- The value of the items stolen was equal to or greater than $1,500 OR
- The property stolen was a firearm OR
- The defendant was armed with a deadly weapon other than a firearm at the time of the incident
Theft crimes are charged as Class B felonies if:
- The value of the items stolen was greater than $1,000 but less than $1,500 OR
- The defendant has previously been convicted of 2 or more felony or Class A misdemeanor theft crimes OR
- The crime involves extortion and the threat of physical harm or committing another offense OR
- The crime involved 3 or more businesses visited within 72 hours OR
- The property stolen was taken with the intent to sell or distribute OR
- The crime involves receiving stolen property which includes large quantities that one would not normally purchase for personal use OR
- The defendant has previously been convicted on 2 or more occasions for shoplifting within the past 36 months
Theft crimes are charged as misdemeanors if:
- The value of the items stolen was less than $1,000
The sentencing guidelines for crimes in New Hampshire are as follows:
- Class A felonies:
- A maximum of 15 years of jail time
- A maximum fine of $4,000
- Class B felonies:
- A maximum of 7 years of jail time
- A maximum fine of $4,000
- A maximum of 1 year of jail time
- A maximum fine of $2,000
New Hampshire Theft Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested for a theft crime in New Hampshire, contact Russman Law as soon as possible. The penalties for even a misdemeanor charge are serious and can have long-term consequences. In order to avoid the penalties, contact one of our New Hampshire criminal defense lawyers to fight the charges and avoid a conviction. Call now to get started.