Theft Crimes in Arizona
In Arizona, theft occurs when someone knowingly, and without lawful authority to do so, takes the property of another person. Sometimes though, theft can be accidental and due to a miscommunication between two people about property rights or the simple borrowing of objects for an undisclosed period of time.
Theft is considered a very serious crime in Arizona. Therefore, if you find yourself being accused of theft, whether misdemeanor or felony, it is extremely important to retain a competent, aggressive defense attorney who will fight diligently for your legal rights.
How You Can be Charged With Theft in Arizona
You can be charged with theft if in Arizona (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-802) if:
- You control someone else’s property while intending to deprive them of it
- You retain and/or use another person’s property or services for an unauthorized amount of time
- You fraudulently obtain someone’s property or services, including pretending to be that person
- You keep property you found without putting in a reasonable attempt (like contacting the police, posting ads, etc) to find its owner
- You obtain or traffic stolen goods
- You receive a product or service, like a computer or an oil change, and then fail to pay for that service
So let’s use an example here of how you can be charged with theft in Arizona, by hypothetically inserting a laptop computer into the scenario:
- You take a laptop computer from a retail store without paying for it
- You take a laptop computer from a person you either know or don’t know
- You borrow a friend or family member’s laptop computer without telling them
- A friend or family member gives you permission to use their laptop computer for a certain period of time, but you choose to keep it longer
- You find a laptop computer and choose to keep it without attempting to find the owner, alert the authorities, etc.
Any of these instances of obtaining, retaining or using a laptop computer you did not purchase or do not own outright constitutes theft of that laptop computer.
Punishments for Theft Crimes in Arizona
The punishments for theft crimes in Arizona depend entirely on the value of the stolen item(s), as well as any extenuating (or aggravated) factors surrounding the theft. According to ARS § 13 – 1802, theft punishments fall into two possible categories:
- Misdemeanor Theft in Arizona applies to property up to $1000 in value. For example, stealing a 99-cent pack of gum is a misdemeanor.
- Felony Theft in Arizona applies to property over $1000 in value. For example, stealing a brand new car off of a car lot that is valued at $15,000 is theft of means of transportation, a class 3 felony.
The exceptions to this are theft of a firearm or an animal. In these cases, you will be charged with felony theft even if the value of the firearm or animal is under $1000.
Trust Phoenix Criminal Attorney With Your Theft Crime Defense
Being convicted of a theft crime in Arizona can severely impact your personal and professional lives by putting a very negative blemish on your permanent record. Therefore, if you have been accused of a theft crime, you should immediately consult a defense attorney who will protect your rights.
Phoenix Criminal Attorney provides our clients with focused legal assistance for all kinds of theft crime charges in Arizona. We will not stop fighting for you by making sure that every possible legal option and defense strategy is made available. If you have been charged with any kind of theft crime, no matter how small or large, contact us today for a private, no obligation consultation at 602-551-8092.