Theft is the act of taking property against the will of the owner with the intent to permanently deprive the individual of the use of that property. There must be intent to interfere with the property owner’s rights on a permanent basis. There are many consequences of a conviction for theft, including serious jail time and fines.
A Greeley theft lawyer could help you build a defense to fight the charges. We have the tools and skills needed to help your case. Reach out to a seasoned defense attorney at Colorado Lawyer Team to discuss your case, rights, and legal options.
Theft Laws in Greeley
The government classifies different degrees of larceny based on the value of the good involved, as noted in Colorado Revised Statutes §18-4-401. The act may be considered a misdemeanor or a felony offense. Felony charges of any kind may affect a person’s ability to own a firearm, engage in other civil rights, and affect a person’s ability to go to college or obtain employment and rental agreements. A lawyer who understands theft laws in Greeley may be helpful in preventing some of these outcomes.
The most serious versions of theft-related accusations in Greely are those that fall under the category of felonies. The factor that determines whether an offense is a felony is the value of the item or items involved in the alleged theft. Any theft is considered a felony offense if the value rises to $2,000 or more.
The classes of felony theft offenses are:
- Class 6 felonies from between $2,000 and $5,000
- Class 5 felonies from between $5,000 and $20,000
- Class 4 felonies from between $20,000 and $100,000
- Class 3 felonies from between $100,000 and $1,000,000
- Class 2 felonies for all values above $1,000,000
When the goods are worth less than $2,000, the government typically prosecutes that act as a misdemeanor, which is a less severe offense. Much like felony offenses, the seriousness of a misdemeanor offense is tied to the value of the items. Petty offenses apply to values of under $50. Class 3 misdemeanors cover values between $50 and $300. Class 2 misdemeanors apply to values of $300 to $750. Finally, class 1 misdemeanors include all thefts from between $750 and $2,000
Theft from the Person
If a person steals directly from another person, such as a pickpocket, the court could convict the person of a class 5 felony. The penalty may include up to three years in prison and a $100,000 fine. If any threat or force is used to remove any personal property from another person, that is an act of robbery. The lowest level of robbery is a class 4 felony. If the act of robbery involved a weapon, it is considered felony aggravated robbery and the penalties are significantly harsher.
Burglary is an unlawful entry into a building or occupied structure with the intent to commit a crime. Additionally, to qualify as burglary, the accused defendant must commit an assault against another person. Like all other theft-related offenses, burglary comes in three forms. The most serious is first-degree burglary, a class 3 felony under C.R.S. §18-4-202.
Second-degree burglary involves entering a building with the intent to commit another crime, usually theft. Second-degree burglary is a class 4 felony but may rise to a class 3 felony if the building in question is a dwelling or the target of the theft is a controlled substance or a firearm.
Finally, third-degree burglary does not involve breaking into a building but rather a cashbox, safe, or product dispenser. A conviction under third degree burglary is a class 5 felony.
Often, these cases come down to a dispute over the price of the items at issue. The government may argue the stolen property had high value, while the defendant may believe they were not worth much. Depending on the price of the stolen property, the penalties of a conviction may vary.
The court may increase penalties based on aggravating circumstances:
- Prior criminal history
- Planned out action
- Presence of the owner
- The victim being a minor
- The victim was an employer
- Actor owed a special duty to the victim
Build a Defense with a Greeley Theft Attorney
The courts in Greeley aggressively pursue theft cases. If you have been accused of theft, you need to start with a strong defense so that you can mitigate any possible adverse outcomes. A Greeley theft lawyer may be an invaluable asset as you determine the most appropriate course of action. Call today Justie and Jenn at Colorado Lawyer Team to get started on your case.