Will I go to prison for theft?

Theft can be dealt with in a number of ways. The penalty imposed at court, if you plead guilty or are convicted, will depend upon numerous factors. A prison sentence is more likely if there are aggravating features such as:

• Property of high value taken

• Previous convictions, particularly if these are for similar offences

• Vulnerable victim e.g. the elderly or infirm

• Breach of trust e.g. theft from your employer

• Pre-planning

• Hallmarks of a professional thief

If the court decides that a custodial sentence is appropriate, they have the power to suspend the sentence if they feel it is just to do so. This means that the sentencewould not have to be served if you keep out of trouble for a fixed period of time and comply with any requirements (e.g. unpaid work; curfew) imposed.