When a person is charged with theft in Iowa, there are numerous issues that will come to the forefront. There are different levels of charges under the law, and it depends on the degree of theft. Stealing items of a certain value will result in felony theft. Others will result in lesser charges. Understanding the difference between misdemeanor charges and felony charges is key when planning a defense.
If the property that was allegedly stolen has a value of more than $10,000; if it was physically taken from another person; or if it was taken from a building that had been damaged or destroyed in a riot, explosion, fire or physical disaster, it will be considered theft in the first degree. This is a Class C felony. If the property's value exceeds $1,000 and does not surpass $10,000, or it is a motor vehicle and its value does not exceed $10,000, it is a second degree crime. This is a Class D felony. This does not include motorized bicycles when value is determined.
If the property's value surpassed $500 but does not exceed $1,000, or if it is property that does not surpass $500 in value and the alleged theft was perpetrated by someone who has been convicted two previous times of theft, it will be theft in the third degree. This is an aggravated misdemeanor. If the property's value exceeds $200 and does not exceed $500, it is theft in the fourth degree. That is a serious misdemeanor. If the value of the property does not exceed $200, it is theft in the fifth degree. That is a simple misdemeanor.
Anyone who is charged in a robbery or theft of any kind needs to know the level of crime they will be charged with. With felony charges there will, obviously, be harsher penalties than lesser charges.
Source: coolice.legis.iowa.gov, "714.2 Degrees Of Theft," accessed on Sept. 6, 2015