There are different levels of theft within Arizona’s criminal justice system. The level of the crime is important, as it determines matters such as the classification of the criminal charge and the potential penalties. The most serious level is felony theft. If you are convicted of a felony theft crime in Arizona, you could face years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. This is why it is critical to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer if you are facing theft charges in Arizona.
What Is Theft?
According to Arizona Revised Statutes Criminal Code 13-1802, the crime of theft is to knowingly control, obtain or convert the property of another person without the owner’s permission and with the intent to deprive the owner of such property. This crime has a broad legal definition with 10 examples of theft activities outlined in Arizona’s statute.
What Is a Felony Theft in Arizona?
Felony theft means that the item in question has a high value, making the crime more severe. The law in Arizona defines different classes of theft based on the value of the item stolen. A crime is considered a misdemeanor if the value of the property or services stolen is valued at less than $1,000. If the value of the item is over $1,000, it is felony theft.
A theft crime in Arizona could be a class 6 to class 2 felony depending on the monetary value of the item or service:
- Class 6: $1,000 to $1,999
- Class 5: $2,000 to $2,999
- Class 4: $3,000 to $3,999
- Class 3: $4,000 to $24,999
- Class 2: $25,000 or greater
There is an exception to the rule if the property stolen was a firearm or an animal stolen for the purpose of animal fighting. These are class 6 felony crimes even if the value of the stolen good is under $1,000. The class of the felony can determine the severity of the penalties against someone convicted of this crime.
Jail Time and Other Consequences of Felony Theft
The distinction between a felony and a misdemeanor can make an enormous difference to the consequences of a conviction. Arizona penalizes felony crimes much harsher than misdemeanors. If you are convicted of felony theft, this will go on your permanent record. You will lose certain civil rights, such as the right to vote and bear arms. You could also lose employment and housing opportunities as a convicted felon.
You could face a sentence of the following for felony theft, depending on the class of the crime:
- A fine plus restitution
- Mandatory jail time with a presumptive sentence
- Jail time:
- Class 6: 6 months to 1.5 years
- Class 5: 9 months to 2 years
- Class 4: 1.5 to 3 years
- Class 3: 2.5 to 7 years
- Class 2: 4 to 10 years
The amount of jail time can increase, up to 35 years, for aggravating circumstances or a past criminal record. If the value of the item stolen is over $100,000, the defendant will be ineligible for probation, pardon, a suspended sentence and early release. The maximum fine for any felony crime in Arizona is $150,000. Some or all of the fine may go to the victim as restitution to pay to replace or repair the stolen item.
When to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one is facing charges for felony theft or any classification of theft crime or larceny in Arizona, contact an experienced theft crime attorney in Glendale right away. An attorney can help you build the strongest possible defense based on the unique circumstances of your case. An attorney will protect your best interests and fight to reduce the penalties that you face for felony theft. An attorney can also answer all of your legal questions and help you achieve greater peace of mind during this difficult time.