Consequences of federal theft charges

On Behalf of | Jul 14, 2023 | Blog, Federal Crimes |

Federal theft refers to the act of unlawfully taking another person’s property with the intention to deprive them of it, where the crime falls under federal jurisdiction. This crime can take many forms, from shoplifting to embezzlement.

The severity of federal theft charges can vary based on several factors, including the value of the stolen items, the nature of the crime and whether it is a first-time offense.

Prison time

If convicted, you might face a prison sentence that ranges from a year to several decades, depending on the crime’s severity. A conviction for theft of high-value items, for instance, can result in long-term imprisonment. For example, stealing a fire truck can land you ten years in federal prison.


Federal theft charges also often result in hefty fines. The fine amount depends on the nature of the theft. For theft of lower-value items, the fine might be a few thousand dollars. However, for more serious cases, the fine can go up to several hundred thousand dollars or even millions.


If convicted, you might need to pay back the value of the stolen property. The court determines the restitution amount, which is typically equal to or greater than the value of the stolen property.


If convicted and sentenced to probation, you must meet specific conditions, like regularly reporting to a probation officer, refraining from committing more crimes and maintaining employment.

Permanent record

A federal theft conviction will go on your permanent criminal record. This can have long-term implications on your personal and professional life. Future employers, landlords or lending institutions often conduct background checks, and a federal theft conviction can significantly impact these aspects of your life.

Loss of rights

In some cases, a conviction can result in the loss of certain civil rights. These rights may include the right to vote, own a firearm or hold public office.

It is important to take federal theft charges seriously. If facing such charges, you need to explore all possible avenues to defend your rights and navigate the complexities of the legal process.