A conviction for felony theft can change your life. Aside from the potential for a lengthy jail sentence, you may face thousands of dollars in fines, be required to report to a probation officer for years, and may have difficulty securing employment in the future. However, just because you were arrested doesn’t make you guilty. It’s up to the government to prove every element of the offense against you—if it can.
At the Law Office of James E. Novak, our dedicated felony theft lawyer has extensive experience defending the rights and freedom of clients charged with shoplifting, larceny, embezzlement, burglary and other serious property crimes.Types of Theft Crimes in Arizona
Theft crimes in Arizona range in severity based on the value of the property stolen and the manner in which it was taken. Arizona classifies felony theft crimes based on these criteria. Below are the main types of felony theft crimes in Arizona:Class 1 Felony Theft: While Not Common for Theft, This is Reserved for the Most Serious Crimes, Including Certain Homicides. a Theft Would Need to Be Incredibly Severe or Combined With Other Serious Crimes to Fall Into This category.
Class 2 Felony Theft: This Category Involves Theft of Property or Services Valued at $25,000 or More. Examples Could Include Stealing Luxury Cars, Embezzlement of Large Amounts, or Sophisticated Fraud schemes.
Class 3 Felony Theft: the Theft of Property or Services Valued Between $4,000 and $25,000 Fits Here. This Might Include Theft of Multiple Items of Valuable Electronics or jewelry.
Class 4 Felony Theft: This Includes Theft of Property or Services Valued Between $3,000 and $4,000, Theft of a Vehicle Engine or Transmission, and Thefts Committed as Part of a Criminal syndicate.
Class 5 Felony Theft: This Category Deals With Thefts Valued Between $2,000 and $3,000.
Class 6 Felony Theft: the Least Severe Felony Theft Crime, Class 6 Felony Theft Involves Property or Services Valued Between $1,000 and $2,000, Theft of a Firearm, or Theft of an Animal for the Purpose of Animal fighting.
It's Worth Noting That Arizona Law Also Contains Other Theft-related Offenses Like Shoplifting, burglary, or Robbery, Which Have Their Own Classifications Based on the Circumstances and Values involved.
Defenses to Theft Crimes
Defending against theft charges requires an understanding of Arizona’s theft statutes and, in some cases, the ability to present a credible counter-narrative to the prosecution's case. Below are some of the most common Arizona theft crime defenses:Lack of Intent: You Can Argue That You Lacked the Intent to Permanently Deprive Another Person of Their Property. for Instance, if You Borrowed an Item Believing You Had Permission and Planned to Return It, You Might Have a Complete Defense to the charges.
Mistaken Identity: You Can Claim That They Were Not the One Who Committed the Crime and That the Witness or Victim Must Have Been Mistaken When They Identified you.
Right of Ownership: You Might Argue That You Believed in Good Faith That You Had a Rightful Claim to the Property. if This Belief Can Be Reasonably Established, it Might Negate the charges.
Return of Property: While Not a Complete Defense, if You Voluntarily Returned the Stolen Property Before Being Confronted, it Can Result in Less Serious charges.
Consent: if You Can Demonstrate That You Had Permission From the Owner to Use or Take the Property, Then This Can Serve as a Valid defense.
Duress or Coercion: Showing That the Theft Was Committed Under Threat or Due to Being Coerced by Someone Else Can Be a defense.
Insufficient Evidence: Your Maricopa Criminal Defense Attorney Can Challenge the Adequacy of Evidence Presented by the Prosecution, Arguing That it Does Not Prove Guilt Beyond a Reasonable doubt.
The Applicability of the Above Theft Crime Defenses Depends on the Individual Circumstances of the Case. It's Crucial to Consult With an Experienced Phoenix Theft Crimes Defense Attorney to Evaluate the Best Strategy Based on the Specific Facts Involved in Your case.
Are You Facing Felony Theft Charges in Maricopa County?
After being arrested for a felony crime, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed by the situation. However, it is important to remember that you are presumed innocent, and it’s the government’s burden to prove their case against you beyond a reasonable doubt. At the Law Office of James E. Novak, we have more than 25 years of hands-on experience handling felony theft cases on behalf of our clients. We know what it takes to reach the best possible result in even the toughest cases. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Novak today, give us a call at 480-413-1499. You can also reach us through our secure online contact form.