Jefferson County Theft Crimes Attorney
Fighting Misdemeanor and Felony Theft Charges
If you have been charged with a theft crime in Denver, you are facing a lengthy term of incarceration and a hefty fine. To seek to minimize or avoid these life-altering criminal penalties, you must aggressively fight your charge. Because the legal system is complex and can be challenging to navigate without a solid understanding of criminal law, it is vital that you have an attorney handle your case. A highly skilled lawyer can guide you through every stage and work toward obtaining the best possible result on your behalf.
Turn to Jim Medley Defense Lawyer for the legal representation you need. Being accused of stealing can be a frightening experience, but our lawyer will stand by you throughout your case, ensuring that you understand that you have legal options for fighting your charge and seeking a favorable outcome. Our Denver theft crimes attorney has an impressive background and draws on his education and training to develop compelling defense strategies for those facing criminal charges. Attorney Jim Medley served as a police officer and has a master's in Criminal Justice and worked as a professor in this field.
What Is Considered Theft in Colorado?
In Colorado, theft is an umbrella term covering a wide range of conduct, including, but not limited to, shoplifting, larceny, stealing, and embezzlement (CRS § 18-4-403). Each of these crimes, and other theft offenses, involve the unlawful acquisition of another person's property.
Specifically, under CRS § 18-4-401, theft is defined as knowingly obtaining, retaining, or exercising control over "anything of value without authorization or by threat or deception." In other words, theft means that someone took something that did not belong to them and they did not have the owner's permission to do so, or they tricked the owner into handing over the item.
Note that theft is not limited to directly taking someone else's property. A person may be charged with the offense if they receive an item belonging to someone else, knowing that it was obtained through theft.
Additionally, for conduct to be considered theft, the alleged offender must have:
- Intended to keep the property,
- Concealed, used, or discarded the property to deprive the owner of it, or
- Demanded ransom for the return of the property.
When the State prosecutes a theft crime, it has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged offender violated all the elements of the offense. At Jim Medley Defense Lawyer, we are ready to scour every detail of your case to identify holes in and cast doubt on the prosecutor's allegations.
Is Theft a Felony or Misdemeanor in Colorado?
Theft can be either a felony or a misdemeanor. The level of charge depends on the value of the item involved. Note that if multiple theft offenses were committed within 6 months or against the same person, the value of all of the items involved are combined, and the level of charge is based on the aggregated amount.
Charges are levied in a theft crime case as follows:
- Class 1 petty offense: Item valued at less than $50
- Class 3 misdemeanor: Item valued at $50 or more but less than $300
- Class 2 misdemeanor: Item valued at $300 or more but less than $750
- Class 1 misdemeanor: Item valued at $750 or more but less than $2,000
- Class 6 felony: Item valued at $2,000 or more but less than $5,000
- Class 5 felony: Item valued at $5,000 or more but less than $20,000
- Class 4 felony: Item valued at $20,000 or more but less than $100,000
- Class 3 felony: Item valued at $100,000 or more but less than $1,000,000
- Class 2 felony: Item valued at $1,000,000 or more
Regardless of the severity of your offense, our theft crimes lawyer in Denver is ready to vigorously defend you.
Related Theft Crimes
A couple of offenses involve the elements of theft but are covered in separate sections of the Colorado Revised Statutes. These crimes include aggravated motor vehicle theft (CRS § 18-4-409) and robbery (CRS § 18-4-301).
Aggravated theft of a motor vehicle occurs when a person takes another's car without permission or with the use of threat or deception.
First-degree aggravated theft of a motor vehicle occurs when the alleged offender does one or more of the following:
- Keeps the car for more than 24 hours,
- Alters or attempts to alter the car's appearance,
- Alters or removes the vehicle identification number,
- Uses the vehicle during the commission of a crime,
- Causes $500 or more in property damage when taking or operating the car,
- Causes bodily injury to another while operating the car,
- Takes the car out of state for over 12 hours,
- Puts a fake license plate on the car.
First-degree aggravated theft of a motor vehicle is a class 5, 4, or 3 felony depending on the value of the car.
In circumstances not involving any of the factors listed above, the offense is second-degree aggravated theft of a motor vehicle and is a class 5 or 6 felony or a class 1 misdemeanor depending on the car's value.
The other related theft crime is robbery. This offense occurs when someone uses force, threat, or intimidation to appropriate another's property. It is a class 4 felony.
However, the offense becomes aggravated robbery (CRS § 18-4-302), a class 3 felony, when the alleged offender does any of the following:
- Is armed with a deadly weapon and intends to harm or kill the victim should they resist,
- Injures the victim with a deadly weapon or puts them in reasonable fear of death or injury, or
- Uses or displays any object in a way that makes others believe it is a deadly weapon.
If you have been accused of motor vehicle theft or robbery, reach out to Jim Medley Defense Lawyer. Our Denver theft crimes lawyer will aggressively defend you.
What Are the Penalties for Theft in Colorado?
The length of incarceration and the amount of fine imposed upon a theft conviction depend on the level of charge.
Below are the potential penalties for theft:
Class 1 petty offense:
- Incarceration for up to 6 months and/or
- Fine of up to $500
Class 3 misdemeanor:
- Incarceration for up to 6 months and/or
- Fine of up to $750
Class 2 misdemeanor:
- Incarceration for up to 364 days and/or
- Fine of up to $1,000
Class 1 misdemeanor:
- Incarceration for up to 18 months and/or
- Fine of up to $5,000
Class 6 felony:
- Imprisonment for up to 18 months and/or
- Fine of up to $100,000
Class 5 felony:
- Imprisonment for up to 3 years and/or
- Fine of up to $100,000
Class 4 felony:
- Imprisonment for up to 6 years and/or
- Fine of up to $500,000
Class 3 felony:
- Imprisonment for up to 12 years and/or
- Fine of up to $750,000
Class 2 felony:
- Imprisonment for up to 24 years and/or
- Fine of up to $1,000,000
Get a Theft Crime Lawyer Fighting for You
Attorney Jim Medley has defended thousands of cases and has the skills and know-how to develop a compelling defense on your behalf. At Jim Medley Defense Lawyer, we do not back down from a challenge and will push forward to seek the best possible outcome for our clients. We are ready to zealously advocate on your behalf.