A Maryland man was sentenced to five years in jail after entering an Alford plea to theft and obstruction of justice charges on Sept. 5. The man was charged with theft from a handicapped retired veteran after he was hired to do work around the veteran's house. Not only was the work not completed, but tools were also stolen from the veteran.
The accused man entered an Alford plea to the theft that totaled less than $1,000. An Alford plea is not an admission of guilt but a recognition that the state has sufficient evidence to prove guilt if the case went to trial. After the plea, the judge imposed a sentence of five years. The sentence included 18 months for probation violation from an earlier conviction. The judge counseled at the sentencing that the probation violation resulted in the reinstatement of unserved time.
The man who was allegedly robbed stated in court at the sentencing that he had met the defendant at church. He knew the man had had troubles and wanted to give him a chance. The man had also promised to do work around the church, but that work was unfinished as well. The length of the sentence will require the man to be turned over to the Maryland state penal system. He will not be able to serve the time locally because 18 months is the maximum time allowed in a local jail.
When a person has been charged with theft, he or she may be facing serious charges and potential jail or prison time. An attorney knowledgeable in criminal defense laws and the processes of the courts may be able to help the defendant establish a suitable defense position and anticipate the arguments of the prosecution. An attorney may also be able to explain if there is potential for avoiding jail time.
Source: Baynet, "Five years jail imposed for theft, parole violation", Dick Myers, September 05, 2013