An Experienced Attorney Offering
Assertive, Results-Driven Representation

Stealing rental property – an offense with heavy penalties

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

If you’re in a financial pinch, then renting might sound like a better idea than buying. There are plenty of things you can choose to rent instead of purchase besides homes and cars. You can rent a camera, expensive suits and dresses, college textbooks or even toys – the sky’s the limit when it comes to renting things.

However, trying to steal rented items can get you into trouble with the law. Stealing rental property is larceny in Mississippi, and anyone convicted can face harsh penalties.

Rental property theft, according to the law

Per Mississippi law, obtaining rental property through deceit or false misrepresentation is unlawful. It’s also unlawful to lease property intending to deprive or defraud the owner and willfully refuse to redeliver or abandon rental property as required under a rental agreement.

The penalties

If a person commits rental property theft in the state, they can face charges for a misdemeanor for as long as the total worth of the rental property is less than $1,000. On conviction, the person faces up to six months in a county jail and as much as $1,000 in fines – the same penalties for a petit larceny conviction.

But if a person steals rental property worth $1,000 or more, they can face charges for a felony instead. The convicted can face up to five years of prison and a $10,000 fine for stealing property worth between $1,000 and $5,000. At the highest level, theft of rental property worth $25,000 or more can lead to up to 20 years in prison and as much as $10,000 in fines on conviction.

Rental property theft is a punishable offense in Mississippi, and offenders will be treated the same way as those who have committed larceny. If you face charges of rental theft, you might want to carefully plan your court defense strategy with the help of a legal professional.