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Columbus Theft Attorney 

If you have been charged with theft in Columbus, a Columbus theft attorney can help answer your questions and fight your case.

Theft (shoplifting) charges can be very serious and may result in hefty fines and jail time. Individuals charged with a theft related offense must be careful to mount the strongest defense possible.  A theft conviction can be very damaging to your job, housing and credit prospects, both in the near future and in the long-term.

Our Columbus theft lawyers are experienced addressing a wide range of theft and shoplifting charges, including:

theft attorney columbus ohio


Potential Penalties for Misdemeanor Petty Theft Convictions in Columbus

Whatever your specific charges may be, our theft attorneys will fight to help you mount the most aggressive defense possible, all in an effort to help you avoid the many penalties stemming from a theft or shoplifting charge conviction.  

In some cases, an Columbus theft conviction may lead to:

  • Fines and court costs
  • Jail time
  • Probation
  • Restitution
  • Participation an anti-theft class or other counseling
  • Difficulty obtaining employment, particularly in the retail and financial sectors
  • Trouble securing a professional license
  • Potential implications for custody
  • Potential implications for obtaining a loan or other credit

For example, under both the Columbus and Ohio theft laws, theft is a first degree misdemeanor under which you could face up to a $1000 fine and up to 180 days in jail.

Theft Charges Under R.C. 2913.02 or Columbus City Code 2313.02

Ohio’s theft law states:

“No person, with purpose to deprive the owner of property or services, shall knowingly obtain or exert control over either the property or services in any of the following ways:

(1) Without the consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent;

(2) Beyond the scope of the express or implied consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent;

(3) By deception;

(4) By threat;

(5) By intimidation.

Most city and municipal codes follow this language closely, including Columbus City Code Section 2313.02. Local municipalities and mayor’s courts, however, may differ in the severity of penalties the impose for theft convictions. 

Aggressive Columbus Theft Defense 

Although many people believe that theft and shoplifting charges are just minor offenses, theft and shoplifting convictions can in fact have a lasting impact on your future.   For example, a Columbus shoplifting conviction could limit your employment chances in today’s competitive job market.  This is particularly true if you have aspirations to work in the retail or financial industries.  Likewise, a theft or shoplifting conviction could prevent you from obtaining a professional license, such in the law, accountancy or in other skilled profession.

Columbus theft attorney Douglas Riddell was recently awarded the AV “Preeminent” rating by Martindale-Hubbell. The AV Rating is the highest possible rating given by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review for a lawyer and is established wholly on a peer-review basis. The AV Preeminent designation signifies that Mr. Riddell has been rated by judges and fellow attorneys as having the highest possible rating for legal abilities and ethical standards.

If you choose Riddell Law as your Columbus theft attorneys, we will carefully investigate all of the fact about your case, including the available evidence, statements from witnesses and video footage.  We will then work to build a theft defense strategy that offers you the best chance for the best outcome, including limiting the consequences of a conviction to you both personally and professionally.

Our strategy will include investigating whether you are eligible for a diversion program, which could include the possibility of expungement of your theft or shoplifting charges, dismissal or sealing of the record so that the charge would not appear on background checks by future employers.

Whether you opt to negotiate a plea agreement, or want to fight your charges in the Franklin County Municipal Court, one of the Mayor’s Courts around Columbus, or other county municipal court, we will work diligently to help you find the most favorable resolution possible.

We are transparent about our flat fee structure for your Ohio theft or shoplifting charge and will upfront in our first meeting with you about any and all legal fees.  Additionally, we accept all major credit cards and can discuss financing options with qualifying clients.

Contact us today for a free case review to discuss your options.   Because we recognize that questions and issues surrounding Ohio theft and shoplifting charges often arise outside the 9:00 – 5:00 business day, we are available after hours, on weekends and on holidays for a free case review.

Contact us via email at, call us at (614) 361-2804 or fill out the confidential contact form to the right.