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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.