Theft in Arizona is a serious offense, with mandatory penalties of up to 12 ½ years in prison and large fines for first-time offenders. But the definition of theft itself can be a bit vague, and there are lots of ways that theft is qualified.That’s why it’s very important to understand the statue and what penalties you could be facing.
What constitutes Theft?
There are several different actions which can be construed as theft in Arizona.
Some of them are:
- Using someone’s property while intending to steal it
- Using someone’s services without being authorized
- Using fraud to get someone’s property or services
- Taking ownership of lost property without an attempt to find the owner
- Using stolen property
- Using services without paying for them
What are the penalties for Theft?
Obviously, the penalties increase with the value of property stolen
For property or services with a value of less than $1,000, you will be looking at a misdemeanor charge, unless what is stolen is a weapon or an animal that will be used in fighting (i.e. illegal dog fighting). In general, for a misdemeanor charge, you will be looking at fines, restitution, probation, and up to six months in jail.
Value of Property
Up to 6 months in jail
|$1,000 - $2,000||Class 6 felony
4 months to 2 years in prison
|$2,000 - $3,000||Class 5 Felony
6 months to 2.5 years in prison
|$3,000 - $4,000||Class 4 Felony
1 to 3.75 years in prison
|$4,000 - $25,000||Class 3 felony
2 to 8.75 years in prison
|$25,000 - $100,000||Class 2 felony
3 to 12.5 years in prison
|Over $100,000||Mandatory prison time
of 3 to 12.5 years
If you have prior convictions for theft, theses penalties will increase. For example, with two prior felony offenses, you can be looking at up to 35 years in prison for theft charges.
What should you do if you’re facing Theft charges?
If you’re facing theft charges, the very first thing you need to do is to remain silent. The police do not need to tell you the truth about the charges you may be facing. Officers are trained to get you to talk. You should always be courteous and cooperative with police, but do not say anything about the charges you may be facing. That way, your words cannot be used against you.
Protect your rights by asking to speak to your attorney. Even if an attorney cannot be reached, this will end any interrogation by police. Then, you need to make sure you have a great attorney on your side.
Contact Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney Burges McCowan for a free consultation and ensure that you have someone who is building up your best possible defense.