The rate of theft in El Paso County is far greater than any other property crime. According to crime data from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department, there were 1,652 cases of theft in 2017. To put this into perspective, there were only 36 reports of robbery and 390 reports of burglary that year.
There are various theft offenses in Colorado, but for the most part, state law divides theft crimes into felony and misdemeanor theft. Theft becomes a felony when force or coercion was used to commit the offense or if $2,000 or more worth of property was stolen. It’s advised you contact legal representation if you have been charged with felony theft.
Criminal Defense Attorney in Colorado Springs, CO
Finding a quality criminal defense attorney should be your top priority if you have been arrested or charged with felony theft. Not only could you spend time behind bars, but you could lose your professional license, be fired from your job and lose access to federal student aid.
Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. has proven experience defending clients of criminal offenses. We will file motions, suppress evidence and do whatever else is necessary to achieve the best possible outcome for you. Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a case evaluation. Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. represents clients in El Paso County, Denver County, and Arapahoe County.
Theft Laws in Colorado
Whether you are charged with felony or misdemeanor theft, the definition of the offense remains the same. According to the Colorado Revised Statutes, a person commits theft if they knowingly obtain or have control over anything of value belonging to another without permission or by threat or deception.
Colorado’s theft laws also state you must have done at least one of the following to be convicted of the crime:
- Intended to permanently deprive the owner of the use or benefit of the stolen property
- Knowingly used, hid or abandoned the stolen items
- Bribed the owner to return the stolen property
- Knowingly retained the stolen goods for more than 72 hours after the agreed upon time the property should have been returned
When is Theft a Felony?
The court classifies theft based on the total value of the stolen property. The main thing to keep in mind is if you stole property with little value over time, even if the individual theft was a misdemeanor, law enforcement can lump the total value together and charge you with felony theft.
Listed below are the felony charges for theft based on the value of the stolen property:
- Class 6 felony: $2,000 or more but less than $5,000
- Class 5 felony: $5,000 or more but less than $20,000
- Class 4 felony: $20,000 or more but less than $100,000
- Class 3 felony: $100,000 or more but less than $1 million
- Class 2 felony: More than $1 million
Penalties for Felony Theft
Being convicted of a felony crime will have a devastating impact on your life. In addition to spending time behind bars, you will lose your right to vote (temporarily), the right to bear and keep arms and have a difficult time finding and maintaining employment.
Felony theft starts at a class 6 felony, but if aggravating factors are present, the charges will be increased. Common examples of aggravated factors include previous criminal history, the type of property stolen, if the offense was committed in an occupied structure or if force or coercion were used. Because of the seriousness of felony charges, it’s advised you contact legal representation if you have been charged with felony theft.
Listed below are the penalties for felony theft in Colorado:
- Class 6 felony:
- One year to 18 months behind bars
- A fine between $1,000 and $100,000
- Class 5 felony:
- One to three years behind bars
- A fine between $1,000 and $100,000
- Class 4 felony:
- Two to six years behind bars
- A fine between $2,000 and $500,000
- Class 3 felony:
- Four to 12 years behind bars
- A fine between $3,000 and $750,000
- Class 2 felony:
- Eight to 24 years behind bars
- A fine between $5,000 and $1 million
Felony theft has a lookback period. This means you will face increased penalties if you are convicted of the offense within a certain time. According to the revised statutes, if you are convicted twice of felony theft of a store within five years, you will be required to serve a mandatory minimum term. You will also be ineligible for probation or a suspended sentence.
Theft – Colorado Revised Statutes – Follow the link provided to read the section of the revised statutes over theft. You can read the precise legal definition of the crime and learn more about aggregated value. The statute can be read on Find Law, an online legal resource.
Property Crimes – El Paso County Sheriff’s Office – Visit the official website of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office to learn about property crime statistics. You can view the data based on location, the method of entry and type of victim. In addition to El Paso County, you can view crime statistics for other counties in Colorado.
Criminal Defense Lawyer in Colorado Springs, CO
A quality criminal defense attorney can be the difference between going to jail and going home. Exercise your right to legal counsel and contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C.. We will aggressively advocate on your behalf and ensure your side of the story is heard.
Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a time to speak with an attorney at Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C.. We represent clients in areas such as Colorado Springs, Denver, and Littleton.