A man from St. Louis County, Missouri, has been sent to prison for stealing from his nephew's piggy bank. The man was accused of several felony crimes, including taking more than $500 from his 4-year-old relative's bank. The man was also accused of stealing several electronic items in December 2012. He pleaded guilty to felony stealing the burglary in the two cases and has been sentenced to seven years' prison time.

Authorities report the man was staying with his sister at the time of the incidents. He asked the woman if he could borrow some quarters, and she agreed that he could take $2 from the child's piggy bank. Instead, he made off with the contents of the bank. He admitted to purchasing sexual services and heroin with the money. Official reports show the piggy bank theft was separate from the other thefts, in which the man took a cellphone and laptop from another location.

The man had a significant criminal record, with previous convictions for unlawful use of a weapon, along with burglary and stealing. Since his first criminal violation in 2001, the man has been in and out of state prisons at least five times. In each instance, he was paroled and then returned to jail after violating the terms of his release. The man's most recent stay in custody ended in March 2012, shortly before he took the money from the child's piggy bank.

In this instance, it appears that the man's previous criminal record had some bearing on the sentence. The man pleaded guilty to the crimes, however, which could have prevented him from receiving the maximum allowable sentence. Guilty pleas are sometimes advantageous because they open opportunities for bargaining with prosecutors. Any defendant who is considering entering a guilty plea should consult a qualified attorney before making such a major decision. Your professional criminal defense attorney can help protect your courtroom rights from arraignment to sentencing and beyond.

Source:  www.stltoday.com, "St. Louis County man sent to prison for stealing from nephew's piggy bank" Kim Bell, Jul. 02, 2013