THEFT | shoplifting defense ATTORNEY

Defense Attorney Brandon Shroy aggressively defends theft/shoplifting allegations

Theft is defined under Ohio law as a person purposefully taking or depriving an owner of property or services. Theft can take be committed by shoplifting, theft by deception, or theft in office by a public official. All theft charges in Ohio can be punished by 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Defense Attorney Brandon Shroy defends people with theft charges. 

What if I have a professional license?

Theft offenses are crimes of moral turpitude under Ohio law, and can interfere with your career if you have a professional license or plan on obtaining one.  When applying for or renewing a professional license it is common to be asked to disclose any theft offense.

Is theft a felony?

Theft can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the item alleged to have been stolen. Theft can range from a misdemeanor of the first degree all the way up to a felony of the first degree depending on these factors. Ohio law for value and possible penalties are laid out below. 

Theft Offense Levels

  • $.01 to $999.99 - 1st degree misdemeanor - 180 days in jail

  • $1,000 to $7,499.99 - 5th degree felony - 12 months in prison

  • $7,500 to $149,999 - 4th degree felony - 18 months in prison

  • $150,000 to $749,999 - 3rd degree felony - 3 years in prison

  • $750,000 to $1.5 million - 2nd degree felony - 8 years in prison

  • $1.5 million or up - 1st degree felony - 11 years in prison

Thefts involving the elderly, the disabled, or active duty service members raise the level of the offense and are  punished more severely as are automobile theft and theft of drugs. 

Columbus Criminal Defense Attorney Brandon Shroy has been successfully fighting to protect the rights of Ohio's citizens for over a decade in and around Franklin County. Let him use his experience to get you the best possible outcome. 




Please include your full
name, the charge(s) you are facing, and the county in which you are due in court.


A client was alleged to have committed 3 misdemeanor-level thefts from Macy's. With Brandon's negotiation with the prosecutor, client was able to enter into diversion and avoid 30 days in jail. Upon completion of diversion, the case will be dismissed and eligible to be sealed from the Defendant's record.

Frequently asked questions about theft charges in Ohio

Is it possible to get diversion?
Yes, depending on your situation. Many jurisdictions have a diversion program which means instead of seeking jail or probation they will allow an educational program in exchange for dismissal. Defendants must be screened into programs like this and it is at the sole discretion of the prosecutor whether diversion is offered. Diversion results in a dismissal of the charge.

Will I go to jail for Theft | Shoplifting?
In some jurisdictions theft charges commonly lead to jail sentences. In Franklin County a first-time offender rarely gets sentenced to jail but a lot of factors are weighed. 180 days in jail is possible even for the smallest theft.

Will a warrant be issued if you are accused of Theft | Shoplifting?
Normally allegations of theft are issued by summons meaning Defendants are not arrested to get them to their first court date. Click here to see if you have a warrant in Franklin County.

If a store accuses me of Theft | Shoplifting, how long will it take to have to go to court? 
A store can request criminal charges from a police officer or the local prosecutor's office. If the police do not immediately file a charge, it can be multiple months before paperwork is mailed to Defendants. Do not wait to contact an attorney because an understanding of how to watch for a warrant being issued may save you from being arrested. 

What is the difference between Theft and Robbery?
Both Theft and Robbery involve purposefully taking property or services from another. Robbery is simply a theft with any of the following factors also present:

  • A deadly weapon on or about the offender's person or control.

  • Inflicting or attempting to inflict physical harm to the victim

  • Use or threat of use of force to take property.

Is petty theft a misdemeanor in Ohio?
Yes. As a general rule, a petty theft in Ohio is qualified as any theft under $1,000. This general rule does not apply if the theft is from an elderly person, a disabled adult, an active duty service member, or the spouse of an active duty service member. If a theft is from these specific parties, then it is a felony regardless of the amount of money stolen.

Can you go to jail for a petty theft?
Yes. Petty theft is almost always a first degree misdemeanor which carries up to 180 days in jail as a penalty.

Do misdemeanors go away in Ohio?
They are eligible to be sealed or expunged under Ohio law. Factors such as prior criminal record and the amount of time that has passed since a citation or arrest are crucial to understand.


Petty Theft (M1)
Theft (F5)
Grand Theft (F4)
Aggravated Theft (F3 to F1)


Brandon Shroy has spent more than a decade defending and winning theft cases in Central Ohio.

As your attorney, Brandon Shroy will utilize his extensive criminal defense experience and leverage his reputation as an aggressive litigator to fight on your behalf and deliver the best possible outcome.

Brandon practices in all Central Ohio courts including the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, the Courts of Common Pleas, Municipal courts and Mayor's courts.


614-601-1456  |
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