Colorado Springs Theft Crime Lawyers
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Being convicted of a theft crime is a serious matter; even a misdemeanor petty theft conviction can result in serious consequences. If you are currently facing a theft charge, you should get in touch with an experienced Colorado Springs defense attorney right away.
It is not only your future that may be at stake, but also your finances, professional life, and personal relations. Theft crimes are considered "crimes of moral turpitude," meaning even if you are essentially an honest and good person, your reputation and your good name may be tarnished from a conviction.
Colorado's criminal laws concerning theft crimes are complex and can be confusing for those who do not possess any legal expertise. That is why an attorney is essential to fighting your charges. You may not be familiar with the prosecution's strategies or the most effective defense for your particular case, but an experienced and reliable attorney will. At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., we are known for providing clients with quality legal counsel and advice. To learn more about what we can do for you in a free consultation.
What is Considered Theft in Colorado?
Colorado's criminal statutes state that theft occurs when an individual "knowingly obtains or exercises control over" another's property without his or her permission. The following conditions also have to be met in order for an action to be considered theft:
- The perpetrator does not ever intend to give the property back to the owner;
- The perpetrator knowingly uses, conceals, or abandons the property; or
- The perpetrator demands any payment to which he or she is not legally entitled, as a condition of restoring the property to the owner.
There are many different types of theft crimes, including the following:
- Theft of Rental Property
- Theft of Trade Secrets
- Fuel Piracy
- Newspaper Theft
- Theft of Medical Records
- Motor Vehicle Theft
The state of Colorado has its own specific statutes that address the theft of sound recordings, cable television services, and public transportation services.
What are the Penalties for Theft in Colorado?
A theft crime can be treated as either a misdemeanor or a felony in Colorado, depending on the circumstances surrounding the offense. Generally, the severity of theft charges is based on the total value of the stolen property. Other contributing factors include the presence or non-presence of force and/or intimidation.
Below are the different levels of theft along with their penalties:
- Class 2 Misdemeanor Theft: Property stolen is valued at less than $500. May result in incarceration for up to 12 months and a fine of up to $1,000.
- Class 1 Misdemeanor Theft: Property stolen is valued at $500 or more, but less than $1,000. May result in incarceration for up to 18 months and a fine of up to $5,000.
- Class 5 Felony Theft: Property is taken from the person of another, without the involvement of force or intimidation. May result in incarceration for up to three years and at least two years of parole.
- Class 4 Felony Theft: Property stolen is valued at $1,000 or more, but less than $20,000. May result in incarceration for up to six years and a fine of up to $500,000.
- Class 3 Felony Theft: Property stolen is valued at $20,000 or more. May result in incarceration for up to 12 years and a fine of up to $750,000.
In addition to criminal penalties, a convicted individual may also be held liable for damages suffered by the victim, usually a store owner, in addition to a penalty fee of up to $250.
Felony Theft Crime
It's not uncommon to think of theft as a minor crime that doesn't cause actual harm. However, in Colorado, stealing any denomination above $1,000 is considered a felony theft crime - and a felony conviction could seriously compromise your reputation, carry with it mandatory jail sentences, and affect your ability to get a job, vote, and more. Read on for more information on felony theft crimes and your legal rights.
How Is a Felony Theft Crime Defined?
Many different statutes cover theft crimes in Colorado, all of which define a felony as possession of a thing of value that belongs to another, with the intention to "permanently deprive" its owner of the object or thing. Several factors trigger an automatic felony charge: stealing the object from the body of a person (regardless of value), using a deadly weapon, and stealing objects or money valued above $1,000. Stealing from an employer or person who entrusted you with valuable objects is usually looked on more harshly than a one-time violation. In addition, prosecutors can choose to charge you for multiple thefts at once - if the value of multiple thefts equals $1,000 or more, it's a felony charge.
Penalties for Felony Theft Crimes in Colorado
The punishment for felony crimes can vary widely depending on the circumstances of the case. Some thefts receive probation, while others incur prison sentences. Several factors, such as the age of the victim and the circumstances of the alleged crime, affect the sentence. In any case, if you're under suspicion or arrest for a felony theft crime in Colorado Springs, you owe it to yourself to immediately seek legal assistance from a felony theft defense lawyer.
Fighting for a Better Future
The passionate Colorado Springs theft defense attorneys at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. are prepared to use the full scope of their experience and skills in criminal law to gain you dropped charges. If not, then we will do our best to negotiate significantly reduced penalties or alternative sentencing options that do not involve any jail time or exorbitant fines. To learn more about your rights and options, contact our office today at (719) 475-2555.
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