Arizona Theft Lawyer
Theft is a serious crime that carries the possibility of substantial fines and jail time. Even a conviction for lesser categories of theft could harm your reputation and jeopardize future employment opportunities.
If you face theft charges, it is essential to work with a seasoned Arizona theft lawyer. As former prosecutors, the dedicated criminal defense attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group are familiar with the state’s complex theft laws and will fight aggressively to defend you and help you keep your record clean.
Under Arizona Revised Statutes §13-1802, a person commits theft if they take another’s property with the intent to deprive them of it. Theft can also involve obtaining another’s services or property by material misrepresentations. Even a person who knowingly keeps a package erroneously delivered to them could be guilty of theft.
Additionally, theft does not have to be of a tangible item. If a person wrongfully assumes another person’s identity, they may face theft charges.
When a complex criminal scheme is alleged, prosecutors often charge theft with other offenses like burglary, forgery, and fraud. Because the likelihood of multiple charges in these cases is high, a person accused of any theft count in Arizona should consult with a seasoned attorney as soon as possible.
Penalties for Theft Convictions in Arizona
Theft may be classified as a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the value of the allegedly stolen items. Property valued at $1000 or more could trigger a felony charge, while lesser stolen items usually result in misdemeanors. The higher the property value, the more likely a defendant is to face more severe charges.
Penalties for First-Time Offenses
Under Arizona Revised Statutes §13—707, a misdemeanor conviction for property less than $1000, referred to as a Class One misdemeanor, may result in up to six months incarceration. However, per §13-702, first-time offenders face the following sentences for felony theft convictions:
- Class Six: The lowest level felony charge. Involves property valued between $1,000 and $1,999 and is punishable by four months to two years in prison.
- Class Five: Involves property valued between $2,000 and $2,999. Those charged face between six months and 2.5 years in prison.
- Class Four: Involves property valued between $3,000 and $3,999. Punishable by one to 3.75 years in prison.
- Class Three: Involves property valued between $4,000 and 24,999. Conviction could result in between two and 8.75 year’s imprisonment.
- Class Two: The most severe felony theft charge. Involves property valued over $25,000 and is punishable by between three and 12.5 years in the department of corrections.
Sentencing for Repeat Offenses
If the accused has prior theft or other felony convictions, a judge may rely on different sentencing guidelines found in Arizona Revised Statutes §13-703, which outline the increased penalties for repeat offenders. For example, a defendant convicted of multiple felony offenses may be sentenced as a first-time felony offender for the first offense, a category two repetitive offender for the second offense, and a category three repetitive offender for the third and subsequent offenses. A person at least age 18 or who has been tried as an adult and convicted of a felony and has two or more prior felony convictions may be sentenced as a category three repetitive offender.
The penalties differ for each category, and a knowledgeable attorney can help an individual better understand the charges they are facing and develop an aggressive defense on their behalf. Some possible defenses include the defendant:
- Had permission to use the property
- Did not intend to deprive the owner of it permanently
- Borrowed the property
- Mistakenly took the property based on misinformation
Other defenses such as a violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights may also apply. A practiced theft attorney from Grand Canyon Law Group will review the case and determine the optimal strategy to protect the defendant’s reputation and freedom.
Call a Skilled Arizona Theft Attorney for Help
Every theft case is different, and some are more factually complex than others. An experienced Arizona theft lawyer can review the evidence in your case and work to construct a robust defense on your behalf.
If you have been accused of theft or a related offense, call our firm today to protect yourself, your record, and your future. Our team of former prosecutors know exactly what to expect from the state, and we can use this expertise to protect you in court. Put your trust in us to handle your case and protect your way of life.