Theft Attorney in Boulder, Colorado
Dealing with theft charges can be a complicated situation, whether you believe you are innocent or not. The consequences that can face you are overwhelming, such as fines or even imprisonment. Therefore, finding the right legal counsel is critical to understanding and fighting for your rights – I'm prepared to be that for you. As an experienced criminal defense theft attorney, I can walk you through what you need to know to protect your rights. I serve those in Boulder, Colorado, and the surrounding areas of Longmont, Louisville, Broomfield, and Lafayette County.
What Are Theft Charges?
Under Colorado law, theft refers to knowingly obtaining, retaining, or controlling an item without authorization or through deception. Please note that Colorado theft laws also apply to those who knowingly receive stolen property.
Misdemeanor vs. Felony
A common question I get from clients is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor. Generally speaking, a misdemeanor is a crime that carries a sentence of less than one year. For instance, petty theft charges are considered misdemeanors since they often carry jail terms ranging from a few weeks to a few months. In contrast, a felony is a serious crime that carries jail terms greater than a year.
The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony lies in the valuation of the stolen property. Stolen property valued under $2,000 may be considered a misdemeanor. Stolen property valued over $2,000 may be considered a felony.
The class type of misdemeanor and felony depends on the valuation. For example, petty theft is considered when stolen property is valued at $50. A class 2 felony may be considered when the stolen property is valued over $1 million.
Types of Theft
Here are the types of theft recognized in Colorado:
Shoplifting. A petty offense is considered when an individual intentionally takes items from a business without authorization or consent.
Larceny. This theft type involves taking personal property without the owner’s knowledge, authorization, or consent. Larceny is generally considered a misdemeanor.
Grand Larceny. Like larceny, this theft type involves taking personal property. However, grand larceny (i.e., stealing a car, expensive jewelry, or equipment) is typically considered a felony.
Embezzlement. This type of theft often involves false pretenses, such as fraud. Embezzlement is considered a felony and may have additional charges.
False pretense. This type refers to intentionally making false statements or having the intent to defraud a victim. A good example is lying on an insurance claim.
Dealing With Shoplifting Charges
Shoplifting charges can be more or less serious depending on the specific circumstances. Individuals may get the charges dismissed or avoid jail time by paying a fine when it’s a first offense. However, repeat offenders may face jail time and fines.
Getting the right legal counsel from a criminal defense attorney is crucial when dealing with shoplifting charges. In my experience, protecting clients’ rights is my top priority. I work hard to ensure my clients are treated fairly.
Possible Penalties for Theft Charges
There are two main types of penalties individuals can face when convicted of theft charges:
Fines. A fine is a sum of money that must be paid as a penalty. Fines are paid to the court. Additionally, the judge may order the defendant to pay the cost of replacing the stolen property.
Jail time. Depending on the situation, a defendant may face jail time. For instance, a class 3 misdemeanor (property valued between $50 and $300) may lead to a maximum of six months in prison.
Fine/jail time. Defendants may also be sentenced to a combination of fines and jail time. For example, a class 2 felony (over $1 million) may lead to 24 months of jail time and $1 million in fines.
Common Theft Defenses
When facing theft charges, defendants may use any of the following defenses:
Execution of public duty such as protecting others or saving someone’s life.
Justification or taking property with just cause (i.e., self-defense).
Duress, such as being pressured to do so (i.e., peer pressure).
Entrapment or being “framed” by law enforcement.
Involuntary intoxication, such as under medication.
Impairment or mental health condition.
Age since children under 10 cannot be charged.
Theft Attorney Serving Boulder, Colorado
Finding the right criminal defense attorney is a must for anyone charged with theft. At my firm, I work diligently to serve my community of those in Boulder, Colorado, and the surrounding areas of Longmont, Louisville, Broomfield, and Lafayette County. I strive to provide the best service possible and fight to protect your rights. If you need help, don’t delay – call today.