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Theft Offenses

In Colorado, theft is an umbrella term for a variety of crimes ranging from simple petty theft to violent burglaries or robberies. No matter what your circumstances are, the consequences for theft are severe. If you’re convicted, you could face serious penalties including expensive fines and even time behind bars.

A theft crime can be tricky to defend, especially if there’s eyewitness testimony or surveillance footage. That is why it’s recommended you seek help from an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can assess your charges to uncover all your available legal options. They can even suppress evidence if it stemmed from an illegal search and seizure. If you or someone you know has been charged with theft, it’s important you have legal representation.

Defense Attorney for Theft in Colorado Springs, CO

Stealing from another through force or deception is considered theft under Colorado law. A conviction for theft ranges from a petty offense to a class 2 felony, which could mean a lifetime in prison. If you or someone you know has been charged with stealing, it’s imperative you gain legal counsel.

Call Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. to discuss your charges with a skilled attorney today. Our legal team provides effective and efficient defenses for clients. Contact us today at (719) 328-1616 to schedule a free consultation. Our defense lawyers represent people throughout the greater Colorado Springs area including Monument, Calhan, Fountain and Manitou Springs.


Overview of Theft Crimes in Colorado


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What Does Colorado Consider to be Theft?

The theft statute is broad and incorporates a wide range of crimes. Title 18 Article 4 Part 4 of the Colorado Revised Statutes (18-4-403 C.R.S.) states theft is when you obtain, retain or take something of value from another person without permission. The crime is still considered to be theft if you pawned, disposed or loaned the item without the owner’s consent and:

  • Intended to deprive the owner of the property permanently;
  • Conceal or abandons the property so the owner is deprived of it;
  • Uses, conceals or abandons the property so the owner cannot use it or it’s benefits;
  • Demands compensation for the property to be returned or restored; or
  • Retains the property for more than 72 hours after the agreed-upon return time in a lease, hire or any other written agreement

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Penalties for Theft Under Colorado Law

The consequences for theft rely on the value of the property or services stolen. The court decides value by what the current market price of the item or services is. If the court is unable to establish the property’s retail value, then the price will be determined by similar property.

The chart below lists the penalties for theft according to Colorado statutes.

Value of PropertyLevel of OffenseFineJail/Prison Time
Less than $50Class 1 Petty OffenseUp to $500Up to 6 months in jail
$50 – $300Class 3 MisdemeanorUp to $750Up to 6 months in jail
$300 – $750Class 2 MisdemeanorUp to $1,000Up to 12 months in jail
$750 – $2,000Class 1 MisdemeanorUp to $5,000Up to 24 months in jail
$2,000 – $5,000Class 6 FelonyUp to $100,000Up to 18 months in prison
$5,000 – $20,000Class 5 FelonyUp to $100,000Up to 2 years in prison
$20,000 – $100,000Class 4 FelonyUp to $500,000Up to 6 years in prison
$100,000 – $1 millionClass 3 FelonyUp to $750,000Up to 12 years in prison
More than $1 millionClass 2 FelonyUp to $1 millionUp to 24 years in prison

 

Committing theft twice within a period of 6 months may lead to enhanced penalties. The value of the two thefts may be aggregated and you will be charged with one single count of theft instead of two or more. The penalty would depend on the combined value of the property or services involved.

For example, if you stole two items valued at $50 within a six-month period, then the aggregate value of the property would be $100. Since the two theft offenses add up to $100, you’ll be charged with one class 3 misdemeanor instead of two class 1 petty offenses.

It’s important to note that stealing by use of force threat or intimidation is a class 5 felony. No matter the value of the property or services stolen. If certain factors are involved in the forceful theft, you may be charged with robbery.


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Penalties for Theft of Trade Secrets

You might be unaware but stealing trade secrets is also a crime. Colorado law states it’s unlawful to deprive the owner control of their trade secrets or to disclose a trade secret to an unauthorized person without permission. The offense also includes making a copy of a written article representing a trade secret.

A trade secret refers to any scientific or technical information, procedure, formula, improvement, business or finance information or any other business or professional secret that has value. The term “copy” under Colorado law is any type of replica including photographs, facsimiles, notes, drawing, sketches or reproductions of a trade secret.

Theft of trade secrets is a class 1 misdemeanor, which is punishable by:

  • Up to 24 months in jail; and
  • A fine of up to $5,000

A second or subsequent offense within five years of the prior conviction is a class 5 felony. The penalties for a class 5 felony include:

  • Up to 2 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $100, 000

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Additional Resources

Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition – Visit the official website of the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition (CCJRC), a prison abolitionist group committed to challenging forms of institutionalized sexism, racism, classism and heterosexism within the prison industry.

Colorado Theft Laws – Visit the official website of the Colorado Revised Statutes to learn more about their theft laws. Access the legislation to read more about the penalties for grand theft auto, stealing medicine or medical documents and the rights in stolen property.


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Theft Lawyer in El Paso County, Colorado

If you or someone you know has been charged with a type of theft, it’s crucial you act now. You will need legal representation to protect your rights. Call Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. now to speak to a skilled defense lawyer with years of experience in Colorado’s criminal justice system.

Contact us now at (719) 328-1616 to schedule a consultation. We will attend to your case night and day as well as answer all your questions. Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. represents people throughout El Paso County and adjacent counties including Denver County, and Arapahoe County.


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Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C.