Theft Charges Defense Attorney in Tucson

In Arizona, theft is a multifaceted legal matter, classified from Class 1 Misdemeanors to Class 2 Felonies, based on the stolen property's value. Theft isn't limited to mere possession of someone's property; it includes actions like benefitting from services under deceitful means. Comprehending these details of Arizona law is crucial for those charged with theft. However, given the law's complexity, seeking guidance from an experienced attorney is paramount because they can help guide you through every step of the legal process.

If you have been charged with theft in Tucson, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Our criminal defense firm not only provides excellent representation in the courtroom but also considers the potential long-term effects a theft crime conviction can have on your future. We will work closely with you to ensure your rights are defended, and you get the best result possible based on your case's circumstances. We offer a free case evaluation so that you can best understand your next steps. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice
Ms. Molnar is an amazing woman and lawyer she helped me through a very long fight on a case and didn't give up she works hard and fights for her clients. I highly recommend Ms. Molnar and her services. You will not be disappointed in her services.
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What is Considered Theft in Arizona?

Under ARS 13-1802, a person commits theft if, without lawful authority, they do the following:

  1. Control property of another with the intent to deprive: At the heart of theft is the concept of taking someone else's property to ensure they no longer have access to it. It's not just a matter of taking the property; the individual may intend to keep it away from its rightful owner permanently or for a period that deprives the owner of a significant portion of its economic value or benefit.

  1. Convert for an unauthorized term or use services or property of another: Conversion involves a person having permission to use someone's property or services for a specific reason or duration but then exceeding that authority. For instance, borrowing a friend's car with their permission for a day but keeping it for a month can be considered theft. In this scenario, the trust and agreement under which the property was initially given have been breached.

  1. Obtain services or property through material misrepresentation: If someone lies or uses false information to gain access to another person's property or services, they've committed theft. An example could be providing false credentials to rent expensive equipment and then disappearing with it.

  1. Control lost, mislaid, or misdelivered property: Imagine finding a lost wallet and deciding to keep it without attempting to locate the owner. Even if the finder didn't initiate the loss, failing to make reasonable efforts to return property when there's identifiable information available constitutes theft.

  1. Control property knowing it was stolen: Being in possession of stolen goods and knowing they're stolen, even if you didn't steal them yourself, falls under this category. This might include purchasing items you suspect or know were stolen or holding onto the stolen property for a friend.

  1. Obtain services without paying the agreed charge: This is straightforward theft of services. For example, dining in a restaurant and then leaving without paying or hiring a contractor and refusing to pay after the service is rendered both qualify as theft.

ARS 13-1802 outlines a comprehensive and multifaceted definition of theft, which covers scenarios from direct stealing to more covert forms of deprivation. The law stresses not just the act of taking but also the intention behind it and the knowledge of the individual committing it.

Penalties for Theft Crimes in Arizona

The theft can be classified from a Class 1 Misdemeanor to a Class 2 Felony, depending on the value of the property or services stolen or other circumstances:

  • Class 1 Misdemeanor: Also known as “Petty Theft,” this is the theft of property or services valued at less than $1,000. Prison sentences may face up to half a year in jail, potential fines not exceeding $2500, and compensation owed to the affected party.

  • Class 6 Felony: Theft of property or services valued at $1,000 or more but less than $2,000. Prison  time can vary between 4 months to 24 months, with a common sentence duration of 1 year and fines up to $150,000.

  • Class 5 Felony: Theft of property or services valued at $2,000 or more but less than $3,000. Prison time ranges from 6 months to 2.5 years, often set at an average of 1.5 years and a fine not to exceed $150,000.

  • Class 4 Felony: Theft of property or services valued at $3,000 or more but less than $4,000; theft of a firearm; theft of a vehicle engine or transmission. Prison terms fall between 1 and 3.75 years, with a typical sentencing duration of 2.5 years and fines of no more than $150,000.

  • Class 3 Felony: Theft of property or services valued at $4,000 or more but less than $25,000. Incarceration can span 2 to 8.75 years, usually leaning towards a standard period of 3.5 years and a fine of up to $150,000.

  • Class 2 Felony: Theft of property or services valued at $25,000 or more. Incarceration ranges from 3 to 12.5 years, typically set at a median duration of 5 years, and fines not to exceed $150,000.

Other Types of Theft:

  • Theft of Means of Transportation (ARS 13-1814): This covers stealing a vehicle, which is a Class 3 Felony. Incarceration can range from 2 and 8.75 years of imprisonment, with a presumptive sentence of 3.5 years and fines up to $150,000.

  • Shoplifting (ARS 13-1805): Has its own classifications and penalties depending on the value of the goods, the method used, and the defendant's prior record. Shoplifting can be as low as a Class 1 Misdemeanor (less than $1,000) or as high as a Class 4 Felony (shoplifting during a continued criminal episode or with the use of an artifice, instrument, container, device, or other article with the intent to facilitate the theft). Prison time can range from 6 months to 3.75 years, with a presumptive sentence of 2.5 years and up to $150,000 in fines.

  • Theft by Extortion (ARS 13-1804): Threatening to do something in the future, like exposing a secret or engaging in illegal conduct, to unlawfully obtain property or services from another. Prison time can range between 3 to 12.5 years, with a presumptive sentence of 5 years and fines up to $150,000.

  • Theft of Trade Secrets (ARS 13-1820): Unauthorized appropriation or use of trade secrets. Incarceration can range between 4 months and two years, with a presumptive sentence of 1.5 years and fines up to $150,000.

On top of imprisonment, Arizona's legal framework allows for fines reaching up to $150,000 for individuals found guilty of felony theft. This is separate from any compensation the court mandates. Moreover, it's crucial to understand that possessing a felony on your personal record, especially when it relates to deceitful actions, can severely hinder employment opportunities and may obstruct the attainment or renewal of specific professional licenses. These are general guidelines, and the actual penalties may be influenced by factors like criminal history, specific circumstances of the crime, and whether any enhancements apply. Anyone seeking legal advice or facing theft charges in Arizona should consult a local attorney familiar with Arizona criminal law.


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Contact a Theft Defense Attorney in Tucson

Facing theft charges in Tucson, Arizona, can be a distressing and life-altering event. Arizona treats theft offenses with utmost seriousness, and the penalties upon conviction can be severe, especially for those with prior offenses. The consequences might encompass imprisonment, significant fines, probation, mandatory restitution, and, potentially, a lasting criminal record.

As your dedicated attorney in Tucson experienced in cases of theft, we are committed to offering you unwavering support and guidance during this challenging time. We understand the significant impact such a charge can have on your reputation and livelihood. Our mission is to provide you with the required support, clear direction, and robust legal representation.

If you've been charged with theft, please reach out to us promptly to arrange a complimentary case evaluation. The primary goal of this evaluation is to clarify the charges you're contending with and guide you through the coming steps you should consider. Our firm serves the locales of Tucson, Oro Valley, Marana, South Tucson, and other surrounding sectors of Pima County. We're also equipped to assist residents from Nogales, Rio Rico, and additional regions within Santa Cruz County.

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Legal Disclaimer

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Molnar Law Office's legal team is licensed to practice law in Arizona. We invite you to contact us, but please be aware that contacting us does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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