Theft crimes involve a wide range of offenses and can be classified as misdemeanors or felonies. Penalties for stealing something can include anything from community service requirements, lengthy prison sentences, a life-long criminal record and fines. There are different classifications for these offenses based on how much is stolen and how it is taken. Consequences increase with the value of the stolen property and there are additional consequences if violent methods are used during the crime.

If you are facing a charge like this in Phoenix, your case may be out of Maricopa County Superior Court or Phoenix Municipal Court, either way a Phoenix theft lawyer could assist you in navigating this often tricky process.  Our dedicated criminal defense attorneys are happy to help and ready to fight for your rights.

What is Theft?

Under Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-1802, theft is the willing and knowing act of depriving someone of their property, controlling that property with the intent to deny the owner of it, or controlling stolen property.

Some larceny crimes include shoplifting, trafficking property that is stolen, burglary, robbery, and automotive theft. A well-versed attorney in Phoenix could help you determine of which type of theft crime you are being accused.

Shoplifting in Phoenix

Shoplifting is a type of larceny that requires several key elements. While some of this conduct may seem obvious, there are some that are less apparent. Even with the actions that do not appear serious, penalties for them could have lingering impacts on someone’s life.

Under ARS § 13-1805, the following are considered shoplifting:

  • Removing an item from a store without paying for it
  • Charging the cost of an item to another person without authorization
  • Paying less than the purchase price by deception
  • Moving an item from one container to another
  • Concealing a stolen item

A shoplifting charge could be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the stolen goods. For instance, any stolen item with a value greater than $1,000 is considered a felony. Felonies are serious crimes and have lingering consequences for people who are convicted. Successfully fighting a Phoenix felony charge may require enlisting the services of a skilled theft attorney.

When Does Theft Become Robbery?

Robbery involves stealing another person’s property by using force or threats and can have multiple classifications depending on how the crime is committed. All forms of robbery are felonies.

Aggravated Robbery

Aggravated robbery involves more than one person’s belongings being stolen. An aggravated robbery is classified as a class three felony and carries a longer prison sentence than standard robbery.

Armed Robbery

Armed robbery is when a firearm or another deadly weapon is used during a robbery. This is considered the most serious robbery charge and carries mandatory prison time with a maximum sentence of 21 years.

Due to the severity of the penalties in Phoenix, obtaining an accomplished attorney is often a prudent decision if you were accused of a stealing someone else’s property.

Trafficking Stolen Property

Under ARS § 13-2307, trafficking stolen property is a crime that has two distinct classifications: first degree and second degree. Second-degree trafficking stolen property, the lesser of the two distinctions, is when someone recklessly trades in another person’s stolen goods.

First-degree trafficking stolen property is defined as someone who intentionally plans, finances, and controls the stealing and trafficking of another person’s property. Because first-degree trafficking involves a person establishing a business based on moving stolen goods, it is considered the most egregious of the two. Both charges are considered felonies in Arizona.

A qualified larceny attorney in Phoenix could aid you in lessening potential penalties if you have been accused of trafficking stolen property.

Enlist the Help of a Phoenix Theft Attorney Today

Being charged for larceny could cause life-changing and long-term consequences for an accused person due to the fines and possible jail time upon conviction. Getting help from a dedicated Phoenix theft lawyer may be the best way to defend your rights and build a strong defense against a charge. Call our office and schedule a free strategy session with one of our Phoenix Theft Attorneys, We are looking forward to hearing from you.