Accusations of theft can result in more than just jail time and fines. Parties who suggest that you or your family wrongfully came into possession of your belongings, funds, or other property can have those items taken away from you. You can work with an Arapahoe County theft lawyer to protect your belongings, your family, and your reputation. Our defense attorneys could review your case and determine how to best build a case in your defense.
Types of Theft
Colorado Revised Statute §18-4-401 defines theft in the law. This definition covers a wide range of behaviors, and it is not limited to stealing only physical belongings. Parties who engage in theft take control of another party’s property without that person’s permission for an undisclosed amount of time, essentially usurping that original party’s ownership. Theft can include:
- Professional secrets
- Motor vehicles
- Personal, medical, academic, or criminal records
- Sound recordings and television recordings
- Identify-assuring documents
Accusations of theft can come from a wide variety of circumstances. When a defense attorney requests, the court can order the prosecution to define how the perceived crime fits in with state law and present evidence that encourages, if not supports, their argument against the defense.
Shoplifting versus Theft
Shoplifting is one of the most common types of theft. When the value of the property taken is between $50 and $2000, the charge would be misdemeanor theft. Sometimes shoplifting is not brought to criminal court. Instead, these are often treated as civil violations. CRS §13-21-107.5 notes that anyone brought up on charges of shoplifting in civil court can expect to face fines, but that the charge will not go on the defendant’s criminal record. If you receive a civil demand letter while criminal charges are pending, it may be better not to pay the civil demand as it could be considered an admission of guilt. An attorney in Arapahoe County could help someone who is facing theft charges or a civil demand letter decide on the right course of action.
What Is Grand Theft?
Grand theft, or stealing any property valued at over $2,000, tends to elicit a felony charge. A court may determine that party’s potential consequences based on the value of the property that was allegedly stolen. All of these consequences grow more complex if the defendant has been accused of similar behavior or other felony-worthy charges before.
Addressing Accusations of Theft in Colorado
Our Arapahoe County lawyers fight to protect the rights of a defendant in a criminal theft case. Parties who are accused of theft have the opportunity to schedule consultations with attorneys so that they can better understand their rights and available defenses. Moreover, an attorney can help the accused understand what charges they may be facing for their alleged behavior. Some of the most common offenses related to theft include petty offenses and misdemeanors.
Courts consider any instances of theft involving goods worth less than $50 to be a petty offense. Consequences may include six months in jail, a $500 fine, or some combination thereof. Misdemeanors ranging from Classes 1 to 3 involve the alleged theft of property between $50 and $2,000 in value. Fines and jail time, according to CRS §18-1.3-401, vary based on the value of what was allegedly stolen.
Speak with an Arapahoe County Theft Attorney
Accusations of theft come with the threat of hefty fines and jail time. Even something like shoplifting can ruin impact your life for an extended period of time. If someone has leveled these accusations against you, you should defend yourself with the help of an Arapahoe County theft lawyer.
After scheduling a consultation with our office, you can learn more about the legal applications in your case. A member of the Colorado Lawyer Team can defend you in court and help give you the best advice for your situation.