Theft is a heavily prosecuted offense in Arizona. If you are found guilty, you face imprisonment, fines, and the negative effects of having a criminal record. However, regardless of the circumstances of your case, there are various defense strategies that a skilled attorney could levy in your favor.
To protect yourself and your future, consult with a Tempe theft lawyer at the Grand Canyon Law Group as soon as possible. Our legal team is made up of former prosecutors, who are dedicated criminal defense attorneys committed to protecting your way of life.
Theft is an overarching term for removing property from a rightful owner’s possession without permission and keeping, selling, or exchanging it for personal or monetary gain. However, as explained in Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-1802, theft goes beyond just assuming control of another person’s property. It also includes misrepresentations to trick someone into providing services, and the offense may involve either tangible or intangible items (such as personal identification).
Although identified as an independent crime, theft incorporates many other criminal activities involving stolen goods. This often means that authorities will charge defendants with multiple offenses. Charges frequently linked with theft include robbery, larceny, fraud, burglary, identity theft, and forgery.
The likelihood of facing a multi-count indictment makes theft cases particularly complex. Therefore, it is in a defendant’s best interest to work with a seasoned Tempe theft attorney to mitigate the risk of incarceration and other adverse effects of a conviction.
Depending on the value of the allegedly stolen items, theft charges can be classified as either misdemeanor or felony. The threshold for moving from a misdemeanor to a felony is relatively low, and accusations of stealing property equal to or above $1,000 will be charged as a felony. As the value of the item increases, so do the classifications of the charge and the sentencing range.
If a person is convicted of stealing less than $1,000 worth of goods, Ariz. Rev. Statutes § 13-707 requires them to serve up to six months in jail for a Class One misdemeanor. Felony sentencing is more complex. Ariz. Rev. Statutes § 13-702 establishes the following sentences for first-time offenders based on property value:
If a person has a history of theft and related crimes, the judge will refer to separate guidelines provided in Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-703, which take the criminal record into account and impose more time behind bars. In addition to incarceration, the court may also impose fines ranging from $2,500 to $150,000.
At the Grand Canyon Law Group, our skilled lawyers deeply understand Arizona’s theft laws and the local criminal justice system in Tempe. We can use this knowledge to a defendant’s advantage by protecting their rights, negotiating charge reductions, and defending them at trial, if necessary.
A robust defense strategy is vital to obtaining a positive case result. Some common strategies that our seasoned theft attorneys use to undermine the State’s case include the following:
These and other defenses may apply based on the situation. The seasoned local theft lawyers at our firm can review a defendant’s options and determine the best strategy for the circumstances.
It is crucial to get legal counsel as soon as possible when facing theft accusations. At the Grand Canyon Law Group, our attorneys are prepared to investigate your case and will rigorously defend your rights from start to finish, regardless of what the prosecution throws your way. Call a Tempe theft lawyer at our firm today to begin building your defense.