Understanding the Classes of Felony Theft Crimes
Theft is any crime which permanently deprives the owner of a thing of value. Theft is charged when the defendant is alleged to have taken, used, assumed control of, or abandoned this thing or demanded money or any other kind of compensation for returning it to its owner. The thing of value can include property, identity, or services rendered.
Shoplifting, failing to return a rental car, assuming someone’s identity for the purpose of stealing are all examples of theft under this definition. Theft also includes money or goods that were taken by deception through scams, fraud, or embezzlement.
Theft is different from robbery. Robbery includes the use of force or threats of violence. Theft charges are classified by the value taken and by the circumstances of the theft. Any theft valued over $2,000 is a felony. However, if the victim was an elderly or disabled person, or the person committing the theft was in a position of trust – such as accountant or a caretaker — then a felony can be charged for any theft $500 or more. Thefts that occur without violence but in the presence of the property owner — like a pickpocket –or inside the victims’ home can include additional penalties
Felony Theft Classifications
Class 6 Felony $2000 to less than $5000
- 1-1.5 years in state prison with one year of mandatory parole and/or
- $1,000-$100,000 in fines
Class 5 Felony $5,000 to less than $20,000
- 1-3 years in prison with two years of mandatory parole and/or
- $1,000-$100,000 in fines
Class 4 Felony $20,000 to less than $100,000
- 2-6 years in prison with three years mandatory parole and/or
- $2,000-$500,000 in fines
Class 3 Felony $100,000 to less than $1,000,000
- 4-12 years in prison with five years of mandatory parole and/or
- $3,000 – $750,000 in fines
Class 2 Felony $1,000,000 or more
- 8-24 years in prison with five years mandatory parole and/or
- $5,000 – $1,000,000 in fines
Colorado law also requires payment of restitution to the victims for anyone charged with felony theft. The amount of restitution is based on economic losses associated with the theft. In addition to the value of the items stolen it could include the costs of replacing locks, windows, or damaged security systems. It does not include damages for pain and suffering. The amount of restitution will be determined by the court.
Defenses for Felony Theft Crimes in Colorado
The crime of theft requires that the prosecutor prove several conditions beyond a reasonable doubt, each of these provides an opportunity for a skilled attorney to attack their case.
Intent to Steal
Theft must be committed knowingly and with intention. Was there a history of giving and taking resources — as frequently happens in families or couples – that made the defendant assume they could use an object without intending to steal it. Did they intend to return the property?
Mistake of Fact
This defense claims that the defendant lacked information that, if they had known it, would have prevented them from committing the crime. Was the actual ownership of the property not clear? Was the defendant unaware that they were taking it?
Improper Search and Seizure of Evidence
A compelling case must include evidence of what was stolen, who had rightful ownership, and how the defendant is connected to the theft. A knowledgeable legal team examines all relevant evidence, and investigates the procedures used to obtain it. The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. has had two felony theft cases dismissed, when we were able to suppress evidence that was obtained improperly causing the case to fall apart.
Don’t wait to get a knowledgeable legal team defending you if you are accused of any theft crime. Your defense starts long before the trial, and the earlier we get involved, the better it can be for you. Call The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. at (719) 475-2555. Your defense starts long before the trial, and the earlier we get involved, the better it can be for you.