Theft under $2,000 is a serious legal matter, even though it’s only a misdemeanor crime. All theft offenses are considered a crime of moral turpitude. This means conviction can have consequences on your personal and professional life that are more reaching than criminal penalties.
Along with fines and possible time behind bars, you will have a mark on your criminal record if you are convicted of the offense. This will result in the conviction appearing during a criminal background check, which can result in the loss of employment, a difficult time receiving federal loans and qualifying for housing.
Criminal Defense Attorney in Colorado Springs, CO
Charges for misdemeanor theft should not be taken lightly. You will need the experienced legal defense of Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC on your side. As your counsel, we vow to aggressively advocate on your behalf and be with you through every step of the process.
Take the first step in your defense and contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC today. Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a case consultation. We proudly defend clients in areas such as El Paso County, Denver County, and Arapahoe County.
- Theft Laws in Colorado
- Classification of Misdemeanor Theft
- Penalties for Misdemeanor Theft
- Additional Resources
Theft Laws in Colorado
Theft is a property crime that involves taking something that doesn’t rightfully belong to you. The offense differs from burglary in that you are not required to break and enter a structure or dwelling. Under Colorado law, you are guilty of theft if you knowingly take control over anything of value without the authorization from the owner or through deception or threats.
The offense must also include one of the following elements:
- Intended to permanently deprive the owner of the use or benefit of the property
- Used, hid or abandoned the stolen property with the intention of depriving the owner
- Bribed the owner to have the stolen goods returned
- Knowingly kept the property for more than 72 hours after the agreed upon time the property should have been returned
Classification of Misdemeanor Theft
Theft is charged based on the total value of the stolen goods. According to Colorado law, anything valued at less than $2,000 will be charged as a misdemeanor. Listed below is a breakdown of misdemeanor theft based on the cumulative value of the stolen goods:
- Class 3 misdemeanor: $50 or more but less than $300
- Class 2 misdemeanor: $300 or more but less than $750
- Class 1 misdemeanor: $750 or more but less than $2,000
There is still a chance you can be charged with felony theft if the amount of stolen property is valued at less than $2,000. Regardless of the amount stolen, you can be charged with a class 5 felony if you committed the offense by force, threat or intimidation. A class 5 felony is punishable by one to three years in prison and a fine between $1,000 and $100,000.
Penalties for Misdemeanor Theft
Most assume a charge for misdemeanor theft is no big deal. After all, you avoided felony charges and can now handle the charge yourself. But keep in mind, theft is considered a crime of dishonesty, also known as moral turpitude. Banks and employers will see this during a criminal background check and may refrain from hiring you or approving a loan.
Theft of goods valued at under $2,000 may be a misdemeanor, but that doesn’t mean the crime is not serious. Listed below are the penalties for the different classes of misdemeanor theft.
- Class 3 misdemeanor:
- Up to six months in jail; or
- A fine between $50 and $750
- Class 2 misdemeanor:
- Three to 12 months in jail; or
- A fine between $250 and $1,000
- Class 1 misdemeanor:
- Six to 18 months in jail; or
- A fine between $500 and $5,000
Prosecutors will combine the values of stolen goods if you were arrested for theft more than once within six months. This is called an aggregated value, and it will result in elevated penalties. For instance, assume you stole $300 worth of goods in March and then $200 in July. Instead of a class 3 misdemeanor for the first offense, both values will be combined, and you would be charged with a class 2 misdemeanor.
Additional Resources for Misdemeanor Theft
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, learn about felony theft and what happens when you commit the offense against the same person twice. The statute can be read on Justia, an online legal database.
Property Crimes in Colorado – Visit the official website of the Colorado Department of Public Safety to view stats about property crimes in the state. The data is divided by property crime. For each property crime, you can see where the crime occurred most often and victim type. You can also view other crime stats by county and year.
Criminal Defense Lawyer in Colorado Springs, CO
Theft is too serious of a crime to be handled on your own. Up against you will be a prosecutor who knows how to convince a jury to deliver a guilty verdict. With Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC by your side, you can rest assured your case will be in good hands. We will never leave you in the dark and will always keep you up to date on the current progress of your case.
Exercise your right to legal counsel and contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a case evaluation. We defend clients accused of theft in areas such as Colorado Springs, Denver, and Littleton.