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Can you legally keep money you find on the ground in Kansas? Take a look at state law

Wichita Eagle
You’ve found $20 lying on the ground — is it your lucky day? Is pocketing the cash legal?

Under Kansas law, keeping mislaid property is illegal when the finder knows the identity of the owner and fails to return it, intending to “permanently deprive the owner of the possession” of the item.

But the penalties for picking up mislaid property depend on what you find and its value.

Kansas Statute 21-5802 considers keeping mislaid property valued at less than $1,000 a class A nonperson misdemeanor. But keeping property valued at more than $1,000 is considered a felony.

These laws also apply if property is mistakenly delivered to someone it does not belong to, like keeping a package mistakenly delivered to your home.

If you do find lost property in Kansas, you should take steps to return it to its owner. This includes contacting them if you have the means to or reporting the lost property to law enforcement.

What are the penalties for theft in Kansas?

The penalties for theft in Kansas depend on the severity. Here are the possible penalties, according to legal blog NOLO:

  • A class A misdemeanor can result in up to one year imprisonment and a fine of up to $2,500.

  • A level 9 felony (theft of $1,000 to $25,000) could bring a punishment of 17 months in prison and a fine that could reach $100,000.

  • A level 7 felony (theft of $25,000 to $100,000) could result in 11 to 34 months of imprisonment and a fine up to $100,000.

  • A level 5 felony (theft valued at more than $100,000) could result in a sentence of 31 months to more than 11 years in prison and a fine that could reach $300,000.

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