Criminal Law

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Theft is a specific intent crime. Therefore, the requisite intent is to specifically deprive the owner of property permanently or for an unreasonable period of time. With regard to state offenses of theft, elements will differ, especially the mens rea, which may be different than intent or purpose. Some jurisdictions only require the requisite mental state as when a person knowingly acquires property with the intent of depriving another. Theft offenses usually have the same criminal mental state defined in most state statutes, which is the purpose and intent to deprive another of property. From there, the elemental distinctions become apparent.

For this discussion, research your state code for the crime of theft and include the following in your main post:

  • Determine how many different degrees of theft exist in your state.
  • Analyze the different theft offenses based on your research (for example: amount, value, prior theft offenses, special property, and other enhancements).
  • Explain proof standards to meet the specific intent mindset requirement for certain theft offenses.
  • Distinguish between legal and social parameters that have played a part in the evolution of theft crimes and their codification.
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