Dealing with Theft Charges in Arizona
The Arizona Department of Public Safety, in its 2019 report, states that there were about 122,597 larceny thefts reported in the state that year. Of these, a total of 27,205 persons were arrested.
Theft is a serious crime in Arizona and carries varying degrees of punishment upon conviction, including a jail term. The degree of punishment given usually depends on the classification of theft crime the charge falls under.
Comprehensive knowledge of the meaning of theft and the differences between various theft categories is essential in dealing with a theft charge.
What is Theft?
In Arizona, theft is the unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away property from the possession or constructive possession of another. Theft also includes controlling stolen property. Theft crimes are committed with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of the enjoyment of his property.
Theft is different from robbery. Robbery includes the use of force or fear, an element that is missing in theft cases. While theft and larceny are synonymous and sometimes used interchangeably, there’s a little difference between them. In some states, larceny is a less serious crime than theft.
Classification and Penalties of Theft Crimes in Arizona
The penalty for a theft crime in Arizona depends on its classification. In a broad sense, a theft charge would either be a misdemeanor or a felony.
Class 1 Misdemeanor Theft
It’s the lowest-level theft charge in Arizona and is also called “petty theft. It’s the theft of a property valued at less than $1,000. It carries a maximum jail term of 6 months, a $2,500 fine, and sometimes restitution.
Class 2 Felony Theft
The Class 2 felony theft is the most serious in Arizona, with stolen property valued at $25,000 or more. It carries a maximum jail term of 12.5 years, a minimum jail term of 3 years, and a fine of $150,000.
Class 3 Felony Theft
In the class 3, felony theft, stolen property is valued between $4,000 to $25,000. It carries a maximum jail term of 8.75 years and a minimum of two years.
Class 4 Felony Theft
The stolen property in question is valued between $3,000 to $4,000 and carries a penalty of 1 to 3.75 years in prison.
Class 5 Felony Theft
Stolen items are valued between $2,000 to $3,000. It’s punishable by a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 2.5 years imprisonment.
Class 6 Felony Theft
Punishable by a minimum of 4 months and a maximum of 2 years imprisonment, a class 6 felony theft involves stolen items valued at $1,000 to $2,000.
A Theft Charge Requires a Good Defense Attorney
The best way to deal with a theft charge in Arizona is to employ a lawyer’s services as soon as you can. Avoid getting into any plea bargain or settlement without adequate legal advice, even for the pettiest cases. A theft charge can negatively change the entire course of your life — you shouldn’t joke with it.
We Are Here For You
If you’ve been charged with theft in Arizona, you should contact us now. We have the most experienced and dedicated theft lawyers in Arizona. We’d be glad to help you through this phase, just like we’ve helped others in the past.