What Is The Difference Between Felony and Misdemeanor Theft?

by on March 14, 2012

In Kentucky the difference between felony theft and misdemeanor theft is whether the value of the items stolen is over or under $500. This amount was changed from $300 on June 25, 2009. If the amount is under $500, then the charge is as a misdemeanor. If the amount is over $500, then the charge may be considered as a felony.

This is ONLY for Kentucky. Ohio and federal law differs in the amount of theft. In Ohio, the severity of the theft and ranges from a M1 Misdemeanor to an F3, depending on the amount in question. Under Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) 514.030, the charge is mandated as a Class A misdemeanor if the value is under five hundred dollars ($500) and is a Class D felony if the value is five hundred dollars ($500) or more.

Pursuant to KRS 514.030, Theft by unlawful taking or disposition is a Class A misdemeanor unless the value of the property is five hundred dollars ($500) or more, in which case it is a Class D felony; or unless:
(a) The property is a firearm (regardless of the value of the firearm), in which case it is a Class D felony;
(b) The property is anhydrous ammonia (regardless of the value of the ammonia), in which case it is a Class D felony unless it is proven that the person violated this section with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine in violation of KRS 218A.1432, in which case it is a Class B felony for the first offense and a Class A felony for each subsequent offense; or
(c) The value of the property is ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more, in which case it is a Class C felony.

Therefore, if the value of the theft exceeds $10,000, or if a firearm or anhydrous ammonia is stolen, it becomes a class C felony. Many options may be available if you are charged with a class C or D felony. If restitution is available, those options increase as well.

If you have been charged with theft, receiving stolen property, or any other crime in Boone, Campbell, Kenton or Gallatin Counties, contact Michael W. Bouldin for a consultation. Contact can be made by email at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE).

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Expunged Reader April 7, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Mr. Bouldin, I was convicted of theft under $300 in Kenton County approximately 20 years ago. I had the incident expunged a few years later. The attorney that I used died several years ago. I have not had any other issues with the law since that occurrence. I am not proud of that incident and have moved on with my life. I currently have a conceal carry permit that is good in Indiana and Kentucky, however, I travel through Ohio often and would like to obtain a CCW there also. The class that I took has one question that asks if I have ever been convicted of an offense including moral turpitude (theft, criminal mischief, sex crimes). I know that legally, I can act as if the offense has never occurred because it has been expunged but on this particular application, it says that expunged and juvenile records will be checked. How should I answer this question? I really appreciate any help that you can provide to me regarding this matter!

mbouldin April 13, 2013 at 12:25 pm

If your conviction was expunged, you do not have to acknowledge arrest or conviction for the offense. If expunged properly, they cannot check into expunged records. I stress the word properly because not everyone has expungments sent to all required agencies: AOC, NCIC, FBI…

Tracy Crane May 12, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Can you get a felony expunged in Kentucky? I have always believed there is no such felony expungement in KY. I have this debate all the time with people. I know there are ways of getting the felony dropped to a misdemeanor then expunging the misdemeanor in some cases depending on the crime and if prosecutors and judge is on board. Really need a definite to show my clients , I work in the field of addiction, so most are. They really need a true and correct answer a lot of them want to go back to school hoping they can expunge and work in a field they would not be able to with a felony (felonies). Thank you for our time in this matter. Sincerely Tracy Crane, Program Manager, Haven4Change Inc.

mbouldin May 14, 2013 at 12:38 pm

No. There are no provisions for expungement of felony convictions in Kentucky. If you are acquitted for misdemeanor or felony, it can be expunged after 60 days. There are also provisions for dismissal and later expungement if you are accepted into a pretrial diversion program in lieu of the felony conviction. Those programs are generally available to first time, non-violent felons – mostly for drug possession offenses. You can have misdemeanors expunged but there must be no criminal convictions for 5 years prior and for 5 years after the conviction. Follow this link for expungement of misdemeanor convictions http://courts.ky.gov/resources/legalforms/LegalForms/4962.pdf . Better, contact an attorney to help so that it is done correctly and with notice to all appropriate agencies.

Ronald Holt May 24, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Mr. Bouldin,
I am 19 and was just charged with a CLASS D FELONY, I have court on June 10th, and was just wondering if it would be best to work out a plea deal for a misdemeanor, and if it would be possible for that to happen.

mbouldin May 29, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Don’t know. Many times felony charges stick as felonies… sometimes they are pled to a misdemeanor. If you have no record, it may be possible to also enter into a diversion agreement or probation, depending on the charges and your criminal history. You should retain an attorney as soon as possible to see what can be done.

Ryan raffensperger December 4, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Recently arrested for shoplifting a cell phone cover at meijers, in boone county, valued at $8. Never had a theft charge before. What should I expect? Can’t afford a lawyer.

mbouldin December 5, 2013 at 11:03 am

If you have never had a charge you may be eligible for misdemeanor diversion. This is a one-time opportunity to have the case dismissed without the necessity of a hearing, trial or possibility of conviction. The diversion officer will meet with you and you will sign a contract. You will have to pay a diversion fee of $150 plus court costs of $156. The terms of diversion on misdemeanor theft are generally 20 hours of community service and a “theft” class, which is 4 hours and costs about $40. An attorney can likely guarantee this result and is your best bet. They can also assist in expungement of the charges after the diversion is complete.

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