Attorney Nick Alcock discusses defending yourself against theft charges in AZ
Theft in Arizona is governed by Arizona Revised Statute Section 13-1802. Theft charges can range from something relatively minor like a teen caught shoplifting a pack of cigarettes to major white-collar crimes like insurance fraud or embezzlement. The one thing all types of theft charges have in common is the nature of depriving someone (or a company) of something, whether that is merchandise or money. Please bear in mind that every case is different, and please feel free to contact our theft attorneys if you have questions that aren’t answered in this blog.
If you are facing theft charges in Arizona, you need to proceed cautiously. It’s important that you fully understand the theft charges against you and the potential consequences before choosing an attorney. A theft conviction will stay on your criminal record and could haunt you for years to come. You could also be faced with jail time and other penalties. It’s important that you familiarize yourself with your specific charge, as well as the law.
Theft in Arizona may be classified as either a misdemeanor or felony. The punishment will of course depend on the severity of the charge and the value of the property allegedly stolen. For example, theft of merchandise worth $25,000 or more is a felony and could mean facing significant prison time. Here is a table listing the level of offense by the amount the stolen property is worth.
$25,000 or more, Class 2 Felony
$4,000 to $25,000, Class 3 Felony
$3,000 to $4,000, class 4 Felony
$2,000 to $3,000, class 5 Felony
$1,000 to $2,000, class 6 Felony
Less than $1,000 is a class 1 Misdemeanor
Firearms, regardless of value, Class 6 Felony
Animals used for fighting purposes, Class 6 Felony
Car Engines and Transmissions, regardless of value, Class 4 Felony
Based upon the type of offense committed, especially if it was a first-time mistake, having a criminal conviction follow you for the rest of your life does not seem justified. In fact, many city prosecution offices offer a pretrial diversion program whereby a defendant charged with a first offense misdemeanor involving minor misconduct is allowed to attend classes and counseling in lieu of a court conviction. Following successful completion of the classes and/or counseling, the prosecutor’s office dismisses the charges and no record of conviction goes onto your permanent record.
No matter what type of theft charges you’re facing, you need a qualified criminal attorney to help you navigate your options. White collar crimes won’t necessarily come with a slap on the wrist or easy sentence. Remember, you could find yourself in jail or with huge fines that could ruin you and your family financially.
For more information or a free case evaluation, please contact one of our highly qualified and experienced theft attorneys at Alcock & Associates by calling 602-989-5000. We offer affordable flat fees and reasonable payment plans.
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Phoenix AZ 85004
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