Phoenix Theft Lawyer

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Phoenix Theft Attorney

Anyone who knowingly and without lawful authority obtains or controls the property of another, with the intent to deprive them of it, may be charged with the crime of theft under Arizona state law. However, what constitutes “knowledge” and “intent” when it comes to stealing from another person can be deceptively subjective, and it is not uncommon for residents of the Grand Canyon State to find themselves facing theft allegations for reasons they do not fully understand.

No matter what led to you being investigated for or accused of theft, retaining a knowledgeable Phoenix theft lawyer right away is crucial. These kinds of situations commonly make for evidence-intensive and time-consuming cases, and the support of a skilled defense attorney can be vital to building a strong defense and presenting it in an effective way.

HOW STATE LAW DEFINES THEFT OFFENSES

According to Arizona Statutes §13-1802, there are several different actions that may constitute unlawful theft beyond just physically taking someone else’s property. Potential theft cases include:

  • Using or converting someone else’s property or services for private use without authorization after they had been entrusted to the accused by the owner for a limited term or use.
  • Keeping lost, mislaid, or misdelivered property while having the means of determining who the owner is.
  • Obtaining property or services through “material misrepresentation.”
  • Knowingly obtaining free services that were supposed to be paid for.
  • Keeping property despite knowing or having reason to know it was stolen.
  • Knowingly abusing a vulnerable adult’s trust to take control of their property

State law then differentiates between degrees of theft based on the financial value of goods, services, or property taken. Theft for property or services worth under $1,000 is known as “petty theft” and is considered a class 1 misdemeanor. Theft of property or services worth over $1,000 constitutes felony theft and may be classified anywhere from a class 6 felony to a class 2 felony based on the value of the stolen property. An experienced Phoenix attorney can offer further clarification on the categorization of a theft charge during an initial consultation.

PENALTY RANGES FOR THEFT CONVICTIONS

Criminal sanctions for theft vary based on the value of the goods or services involved. When the property involved is valued at less than $1,000, the charge is considered misdemeanor theft. A first-time offender convicted of misdemeanor theft could face sanctions of up to six months in jail and a maximum $2,500 fine. Importantly, though, a subsequent petty theft offense would be considered a class 6 felony for sentencing purposes. Theft of any firearm or of any animal taken for use in animal fighting is also considered a class 6 felony.

A first conviction for class 2 felony theft of more than $25,000 of goods or services could result in between three and 12.5 years in prison. This is the most severe theft charge. It is important to recognize that this sentence can increase with each subsequent offense. A skilled theft attorney can help a defendant in Phoenix understand the nature of their charges and build a defense accordingly.

SEEK HELP FROM A PHOENIX THEFT ATTORNEY

Contesting allegations of criminal theft is rarely a simple endeavor. Even if you have exculpatory evidence that disproves the prosecution’s arguments, presenting that evidence in an effective way can be challenging without the help of a dedicated attorney.

Help from a Phoenix theft lawyer can make all the difference in your case and significantly increase your odds of achieving a favorable outcome. Our defense attorneys have extensive experience in the courtroom and know exactly what to expect from prosecutors in these cases. Call today to learn more about how we can get to work for you.

Schedule A Consultation With The Grand Canyon Attorney Who Can Help