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Cedar Rapids Criminal Lawyer explains: Iowa approves new theft classifications based on value


The Iowa Legislature has approved, and the Governor has signed into law, a theft reclassification system that requires the State to prove higher values of theft when charging more serious offenses.

For example, before July 1, 2019, the theft of anything with a value below $200 was a simple misdemeanor Theft in the Fifth Degree. Anything more than $200 allowed the prosecutor to seek indictable, serious misdemeanor theft charges against a defendant. That dividing line has been amended to $300.

The theft of anything exceeding three hundred dollars in value but not exceeding seven hundred fifty dollars in value is now theft in the fourth degree. Before July 1, 2019, anything exceeding $200 but not exceeding $500 was Theft in the Fourth Degree.

Similarly, the theft of anything exceeding $750 but not exceeding $1500 is Theft in the Third Degree now. Theft in the Third Degree is an aggravated misdemeanor punishable by fines ranging from $625 to $6250 and a maximum, but not required, prison sentence of two years. Jail ranging from 1 to 365 days is also a possible sentence within the discretion of the judge. Theft in the Third Degree is a probationable and deferred-eligible offense. There is no mandatory minimum jail or prison sentence for Theft in the Third Degree or any theft. Before July 1, 2019, anything exceeding $500 but not exceeding $1000 was Theft in the Third Degree.

The theft of anything exceeding $1500 but not exceeding $10,000, is now Theft in the Second Degree, a Class D felony criminal offense in Iowa. Theft in the Second Degree is punishable by a maximum indeterminate prison sentence of no more than five years. Again, felony theft does not require a mandatory prison sentence of any kind. It is a probation and deferred eligibile offense. Before July 1, 2019, theft of anything exceeding $1,000 in value but not exceeding $10,000 was Theft in the Second Degree.

Theft in the First Degree remains the theft of anything in value exceeding $10,000 or a motor vehicle. It is a Class "C" Felony punishable by a maximum prison sentence of 10 years. Theft in the First Degree did not really change in classification.

As you can see from these amendments, the Iowa Legislature and Governor have decided to increase the values required to charge more serious, indictable thefts. However, first degree theft still requires the same greater than $10,000 value theft.

If you or a loved one have been arrested for OWI (DUI) or other criminal offense in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, or other Iowa community, contact David A. Cmelik Law PLC for a free initial consultation. However, remember that a blog is not legal advice and that sending unsolicited information to a lawyer over the Internet does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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