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Theft

Theft is one of the most common criminal charges. There is a wide range of possible theft charges. They range from minor petty theft charges, up to complex white-collar offenses. The dollar amount of the theft is what determines the class of crime in Colorado. Theft involving less than one thousand dollars will result in misdemeanor charges, while thefts of one thousand dollars or more will result in felony charges.

The possible sentence is determined by the class of offense, which as mentioned, is determined by the dollar amount of the theft. However, the actual sentence imposed by the judge, within the possible sentencing range, will be determined by the facts of the particular case. Thefts that appear to be the result of a momentary loss of judgment will be treated differently than those that were planned out with significant premeditation. Other situations that can lead to a harsh sentence involve theft from at-risk victims, such as children or the elderly.

The chart below shows the presumptive sentencing range for each level of theft. However, because the facts of your specific case will greatly affect the actual sentence imposed, it is recommended that you do not try to predict the outcome without the assistance of a criminal attorney.

Amount of Theft Class of Crime Possible Sentence
Under $500 Misdemeanor 2 3 to 12 Months County Jail
$500 to $999.99 Misdemeanor 1 6 to 18 Months County Jail
$1,000 to $19,999.99 Felony 4 2 to 6 Years DOC
$20,000 or more Felony 3 4 to 12 Years DOC

In some cases, the district attorney can charge a higher class of crime against you by adding separate incidents of theft together. For example, several separate thefts which, individually, would be misdemeanor offenses, can be added together to justify a felony charge. An illustration of this is a case where an employee steals $400 from their employer on three separate occasions. Because these individual thefts amount to more than one thousand dollars when combined, the district attorney may file a felony charge against the accused.

Theft charges can have devastating career implications for some. Even a petty theft conviction can be career ending for certain professions. Examples include pharmacists, police officers, nurses, or those employed in the banking industry. Employers of any kind will be reluctant to hire those with theft convictions because of the possible threat it poses to their business.

Kevin Churchill has defended all levels of theft charges, including white-collar mortgage fraud involving hundreds of thousands of dollars. He has helped many to avoid career-ending convictions and lengthy prison sentences. Please call us immediately when you have been arrested or are under investigation for theft. As always, it is important not to speak to the police about the accusations, or anyone other than a qualified criminal defense attorney.

 
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