Theft, the act of knowingly taking something that belongs to someone else without their permission with the intent to deprive them of their use of the property, can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony in Colorado. The value of the stolen property in question is one factor that is considered when determining whether to the act will be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. It is important that you work with an experienced Loveland criminal defense lawyer who can argue for dismissing or reducing the charges on your behalf. Contact the Loveland theft lawyers from The Harrell Law Firm, PLLC online or call (970) 791-2006 today.
How is Theft Defined in Colorado?
According to Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-4-401, a person commits theft when they knowingly obtain, retain, or exercises control over anything of value of another without authorization or by threat or deception; receive, loan money by pawn or pledge on, or dispose of anything of value or belonging to another that they know or believe to have been stolen, and:
- Intend to deprive the other person permanently of the use or benefit of the thing of value;
- Knowingly use, conceal, or abandon the thing of value in such manner as to deprive the other person permanently of its use or benefit;
- Use, conceal, or abandon the thing of value intending that such use, concealment, or abandonment will deprive the other person permanently of its use or benefit;
- Demand any consideration to which they are not legally entitled as a condition of returning the thing of value to the other person;
- Knowingly retain the thing of value more than seventy-two hours after the agreed-upon time of return in any lease or hire agreement; or
- Intentionally misrepresent or withhold a material fact for determining eligibility for a public benefit and does so for the purpose of obtaining or retaining public benefits for which the person is not eligible.
What is Considered Misdemeanor theft in Colorado?
Theft is considered a misdemeanor offense when the stolen property has a value of less than $2,000 but more than $300.
Thefts involving property with a value under $300 are considered petty offenses.
What Is Felony Theft?
Felony theft (CRS 18-4-401(2)) occurs when the stolen property is valued at $2,000 or more. This felony offense is sometimes referred to as grand theft.
Don’t underestimate the gravity of felony theft charges – seek the assistance of a skilled Loveland theft attorney to navigate the complex legal process and fight for your future.
Theft crimes are usually charged based on the value of the property involved. Here are the various values and crime classifications:
- Less than $300 – Petty offense, punishable by up to ten days in jail and a fine of up to $300
- Between $300 and $999 – Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 120 days in jail and a fine of up to $750
- Between $1,000 and $1,999 – Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000
- Between $2,000 and $4,999 – Class 6 felony, punishable by up to 1.5 years incarceration and a fine of up to $100,000
- Between $5,000 and $19,999 – Class 5 felony, punishable by up to 3 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000
- Between $20,000 and $99,999 – Class 4 felony, punishable by up to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000
- Between $100,000 and $999,999 – Class 3 felony, punishable by up to 12 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000
- $1 million or more – Class 2 felony, punishable by up to 24 years in prison and a fine up to $1 million
If a person commits theft two or more times within a six-month period, the values of the stolen property can be added together so that they make up a single offense.
In some cases, the penalty depends on how the crime was committed or on whom, rather than the value of the stolen property:
- Pickpocketing – Class 5 felony
- Stealing from an at-risk person, such as an elderly or disabled person – Class 5 or 3 felony, depending on the value of the property stolen
The court can also order the defendant to pay restitution to the alleged victim.
Possible Defenses to Theft Cases
You may be able to raise various defenses to the theft charges, such as:
- You were the sole owner of the property
- You did not knowingly take the property
- You did not intend to permanently deprive the owner of the property
- You were mistaken as to a fact or law
- The value of the property is not as the prosecution asserts
- The police search and seizure was illegal
Call the Loveland Theft Attorneys At The Harrell Law Firm, PLLC for Help
If you are facing misdemeanor or felony theft charges, reach out to the Loveland theft attorneys at The Harrell Law Firm, PLLC. We can discuss your situation during a confidential consultation. Contact us online or call (970) 791-2006.