Theft of property in the fourth degree is a Class A Misdemeanor, which means the value of the property is less than $500, but it is still a crime of moral turpitude. Accordingly, if convicted, the person still can lose certain rights so when clients are charged with theft cases, attorneys try to negotiate sentence reductions and/or amendments to other charges that do not have the moral turpitude consequence and subsequent theft penalties.


The City of Gadsden generally gave a 180 jail sentence with 3 days to serve for theft 4th degree or shoplifting charges when Tom King was the judge.  Now, we have a new judge at City of Gadsden.  Under Alabama law, third degree theft is a class A misdemeanor, which carries a punishment of imprisonment for no more than one year. (Ala. Code § 13A-8-5.) A class A misdemeanor conviction under Alabama law also can result in a fine of no more than $6,000. (Ala. Code §13A-5-7.)


Under Alabama law, it is a defense to a theft-related offense if the person honestly believed, at the time of the alleged offense, that  they had a valid claim to the property or services that were taken. If the finder of fact (the jury or a judge sitting without a jury) finds the defense credible, and as a result cannot conclude that every element of the charge has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the result should be a verdict of not guilty.(Ala. Code §13A-8-12.)

What happens if I do don't pay the Walmart theft letter?

Ignoring the civil demand letter and not paying it will NOT in it of itself cause a warrant to be issued for your arrest. The civil demand letter comes from Walmart or their attorney or a collection agency they hired. They don't have the power to issue a warrant. I generally advise clients to ignore these civil demand letters. You don't owe them anything. In order for you to owe them something they would have to sue you, and win. Even if they could win, the cost of pursuing this is substantially greater than any amount they can possibly recover so they usually don't. They send out these letters because it doesn't cost much and they are hoping that you don't know better and simply send them the money. If by some off chance they follow up and file criminal charges after the fact you will be notified and at that point speak to a lawyer ASAP. Take a look at an article in the Wall Street Journal at the link provided below.



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We at Dani V. Bone & Sam D. Bone, Attorneys at Law know that finding the right attorney to represent you is a choice not to be taken lightly. That’s why we offer free consultations to walk you through your needs, the scope of your goals, and your budget.




This information about real estate in Gadsden is intended as a general guide to inform you about the law and there is no substitute for getting legal advice in person by an experienced lawyer who works with these laws on a daily basis and can apply the current law to the facts of your case. Contact Dani Bone & Sam Bone to discuss the specific facts of your case. Email us at SAMUELDANIBONE@GMAIL.COM or call 256-547-1005 now.