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Theft: What is the penalty?

Anyone who commits an offense under German criminal law must expect appropriate sanctions to be imposed on them. However, these are not always the same. Depending on the crime committed by the perpetrator, it can sometimes be more, sometimes less serious. The criminal code (in short: StGB) looks on the one hand Fines and, on the other hand, imprisonment in front.

In our guide we want to address this Offense theft and punishment dedicate, which is hereby imposed by law. Does theft always result in a fine or can a prison sentence be imposed? Where can be found in this regard legal regulations? When does the theft expire? The following guide will answer these and other questions on the subject of “punishment for theft”.

FAQ: Penalty for theft

What is the penalty for theft?

Theft is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years or a fine.

Is attempted theft also punished?

Yes. According to German criminal law, attempting to commit theft is also a criminal offense.

When does the statute of limitations apply?

Here you can read the period after which the statute of limitations begins in the event of theft.

Penalty for theft: what can be expected?

“What penalty is imposed in the event of theft?” People ask themselves this question at the latest when they have a corresponding display on the neck to have. A look at Section 242 of the Criminal Code reveals the level of punishment that is provided for theft. In paragraph 1 of the standard itself it says:

Anyone who takes away another person's movable property from another person with the intention of unlawfully appropriating the property to himself or to a third party will be punished with imprisonment for up to five years or with a fine.

The punishment for theft in Germany can therefore be quite severe. Depending on the circumstances of the act or after history relevant to criminal law the perpetrator can therefore also be sentenced to imprisonment.

The crime of theft is a so-called offense. Whether or not there is such a thing always decides the degree of punishment of a norm.

If an offense provides for a range of penalties at least one year imprisonment or higher, it is a crime. However, if the range of punishment is below this, it is considered an offense. Is relevant that differentiation sometimes when asked about the Criminal liability of an act in the attempt. In this regard, § 23 StGB regulates that the Attempt a crime is always punishable, but that of a misdemeanor only if the law expressly stipulates it.

In the case of theft, there is a threat of a penalty in accordance with the norm of Section 242, Paragraph 2 of the Criminal Code, even if an attempt is made. So if you get caught with you, for example attempted cell phone theft, has to fear a penalty. This also amounts to that Penalty for an accomplished act. Section 23 (2) of the Criminal Code, however, provides for the possibility of mitigating sentences within the meaning of Section 49 of the Criminal Code.

Burglary: what is the penalty?

In the event of a home burglary within the meaning of § 244 paragraph 1 number 3 StGB the sentence is increased accordingly. This is a so-called qualification to the basic fact. There is even a threat of imprisonment from six months to ten years.

Likewise, in accordance with numbers 1 and 2 of the said norm, anyone who steals a Weapon or other dangerous tool carries with him or the theft as a member of a gang commits.

So, as you can see, the penalty for simple shoplifting is compared to the qualification according to § 244 StGB a lot milder.

Statute of limitations for theft: The penalty is not unlimited

Anyone who commits a criminal offense in Germany must expect a corresponding sanction according to the StGB, but according to criminal law not unlimited in time. Offenses are subject to this usually a statute of limitations. The crime of murder, legally standardized in Section 211 of the Criminal Code, is excluded from this.

However, simple pickpocketing can result in a penalty after a certain period of time no longer be imposed. But how long is the limitation period for theft? A look at the answers this question Provision of § 78 StGB. Paragraph 3 number 4 of the standard stipulates that the Limitation period for criminal prosecution is five years for acts that are in their maximum with a Imprisonment from more than one year to five years are threatened.

As soon as this period expires, theft can no longer be punished. The Investigative authorities (Police and public prosecutor's office) then have their hands tied.
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Theft: What is the penalty?
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