Under Colorado law, it’s illegal to steal or conceal property or goods of another person without their consent. What you may not know is that you can also be charged with theft if you fail to return a rental property in time. Theft of rental property is similar to theft of personal property except the intent is to steal and control the property temporarily.
Usually, this charge occurs when a person has rented property such as vehicles, furniture or tools and they fail to return the property in time according to the rental agreement. This means you could be charged with a crime for simply making a mistake. If you or someone you know has been charged with theft of rental property, it’s crucial you gain legal representation.
Attorney for Theft of Rental Property in El Paso County, CO
It’s common for people to be charged with theft of rental property because they forgot to return property. However, it’s imperative you take these charges seriously. Theft of rental property is a serious crime that can result in expensive fines and jail or prison time.
If you or someone you know has been charged with theft of rental property, it’s important you get in contact with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC to further discuss your legal options. Our skilled defense lawyers will answer all your questions and discover what the next best step is. Call (719) 328-1616 to set up a consultation today.
Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC represents people accused of theft throughout El Paso County and surrounding counties including Denver County and Arapahoe County.
Overview of Theft of Rental Property
- What is Theft of Rental Property Under Colorado Law?
- Penalties for Theft of Rental Property in Colorado
- Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft in Colorado
- Additional Resources
What is Theft of Rental Property Under Colorado Law?
Prior to July 2013, Colorado had a separate statute or law for theft of rental property. In July of 2013, the Colorado Revised Statute 18-4-402 was repealed. Theft of rental property is now included the general theft statute. The crime is usually associated with property such as a rental car or sports equipment.
You can still be charged with theft of rental property even if you return the property eventually. Retaining rental property for more than 72 hours past the formal agreement can lead to theft charges. You can also be charged with theft of rental property if you:
- Intended to keep the property from the owner permanently;
- Conceal or abandon the property;
- Demand compensation for the return or restoration of rental property; or
- Use, conceal or abandon the property so the owner cannot use it or it’s benefits
Penalties for Theft of Rental Property in Colorado
The consequences for theft of rental property depend on the value of the goods or property stolen. Colorado courts determine value by the current market price of the item or services. If the court cannot determine the property’s retail value, then it’s value will be determined by the price of similar property.
The chart below explains the penalties associated with theft of rental property in Colorado.
|Value of Property||Level of Offense||Fine||Jail/Prison Time|
|Less than $50||Class 1 Petty Offense||Up to $500||Up to 6 months in jail|
|$50 – $300||Class 3 Misdemeanor||Up to $750||Up to 6 months in jail|
|$300 – $750||Class 2 Misdemeanor||Up to $1,000||Up to 12 months in jail|
|$750 – $2,000||Class 1 Misdemeanor||Up to $5,000||Up to 24 months in jail|
|$2,000 – $5,000||Class 6 Felony||Up to $100,000||Up to 18 months in prison|
|$5,000 – $20,000||Class 5 Felony||Up to $100,000||Up to 2 years in prison|
|$20,000 – $100,000||Class 4 Felony||Up to $500,000||Up to 6 years in prison|
|$100,000 – $1 million||Class 3 Felony||Up to $750,000||Up to 12 years in prison|
|More than $1 million||Class 2 Felony||Up to $1 million||Up to 24 years in prison|
Committing theft of rental property twice within a six-month period will lead to elevated penalties. Your penalty will be decided by combining the value of the two thefts so it can be charged as one single count instead of two.
For example, if you stole two items valued at $300, then the aggregate value of the stolen property would be $600. Because both items value up at $600, you’ll be charged with a class 2 misdemeanor instead of two class 3 misdemeanors.
Stealing rental property by use of threat or intimidation is a class 5 felony, even if the property had a low value. The penalties for a class 5 felony is up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft in Colorado
Theft of rental property is commonly linked to rental vehicles, whether they’re for travel or for a work-related purpose. However, if certain circumstances exist within the crime you may also be charged with aggravated motor vehicle theft otherwise known as grand theft auto.
You could be charged with aggravated motor theft if you steal another car through threats or deception. Aggravated motor theft is classified by two degrees depending on the severity of the crime. Aggravated motor theft in the second degree is a class 1 misdemeanor if the value of the car was less than $1,000. The penalties for a class 1 misdemeanor include:
- Up to 24 months in jail; and
- A fine of up to $5,000
The crime is enhanced to a class 6 felony if the motor vehicle involved is more than $1,000, but less than $20,000. A class 6 felony is punishable by:
- Up to 18 months in prison; and
- A fine of up to $100,000
You’ll be charged with a class 5 felony if the motor vehicle valued at $20,000 or more. A class 5 felony can result in:
- Up to two years in prison; and
- A fine of up to $100,000
If certain circumstances exist within the crime, you may be charged with first-degree aggravated motor theft. Colorado law states you’re guilty of aggravated motor theft in the first-degree if you take a car without consent through threat or deception and:
- Possess the car for more than 24 hours;
- Attempt to alter or disguise the appearance of the car;
- Alter, disguise or remove the vehicle’s identification number;
- Use the motor vehicle for a crime other than a traffic violation;
- Create $500 or more in property damage by using the motor vehicle;
- Cause bodily injury to another person while the vehicle is in your control;
- Remove the vehicle from the state of Colorado for a more than 12 hours; or
- Unlawfully attaches license plates onto the vehicle that haven’t been officially issued
The penalties for aggravated motor vehicle theft in the first-degree depend on the value of the vehicle stolen. If the car involved is $20,000 or more, but less than $100,000 then you’ll be charged with a class 4 felony. The penalties associated with a class 4 felony include:
- Up to 6 years in prison; and
- A fine of up to $100,000
You could be charged with a class 3 felony if:
- The vehicle stolen valued at $100,000 or more; or
- You have two previous aggravated motor theft convictions in Colorado or another state
Theft Statistics in Colorado – Visit the official website of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to access their crime statistics database. Use the dropdown menu to pick the year, jurisdiction and property crimes to see data on how many theft offenses were committed in Colorado at that time.
Theft Laws in Colorado – Visit the official website of the Colorado Revised Statues to learn more about their legislation regarding theft. Access the site to learn the elements of theft, penalties and admissible defenses. You can also look up relatable offenses such as theft of trade secrets.
Defense Lawyer for Theft of Rental Property in Colorado Springs
If you or someone you know has been charged with theft of rental property, it’s imperative you hire legal counsel. An attorney can assess your situation to see what your legal options are. Find that attorney today by calling Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC.
Our attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC provide effective and efficient defenses for our clients. We will sit with you and answer all your legal questions thoroughly. Additionally, we can chart out a defense plan to attack your charges. Call us now at (719) 328-1616 to speak to a skilled lawyer today.
Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC accepts clients throughout the greater Colorado Springs area including Fountain, Calhan, and Manitou Springs.