Theft allegations in Mesa can arise from a number of situations. Often, these types of charges may arise from a mistake or false accusations. No matter the reason, it is still important to take these charges seriously. Since theft offenses are commonly known as crimes of dishonesty or moral turpitude, they can affect your ability to pursue certain types of jobs or professions, in addition to resulting in ineligibility to be admitted into certain colleges or graduate school programs.
Theft offenses in Arizona are punishable as a variety of offenses, ranging from simple misdemeanors to serious felonies. A conviction for any of these degrees can lead to jail or prison sentences, fines, community restitution, civil penalties and/or a criminal record.
It is important to remember that if you have been charged with a theft crime, you will not necessarily be convicted of the offense. The state prosecutor has the burden to prove you committed every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a very high burden to meet, and any reasonable doubt can result in a reduction or even a dismissal of the charges against you. Therefore, it is essential to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Mesa to fight the theft allegations against you.
Mesa Theft Lawyer
If you have been charged with a theft crime in Mesa, or any of the surrounding areas in Arizona, including Mesa, Gilbert, Tempe, Chandler, Scottsdale or East Valley, contact the Law Office of James E. Novak. James Novak is experienced in defending various theft crimes in Arizona and will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions to your alleged theft offense. Call the Law Office of James E. Novak for a free consultation at (480) 413-1499 about your alleged theft crime in Mesa.
Arizona Theft Crimes Information Center
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Theft in Mesa
An individual can be charged with theft in Mesa under section 13-802 of the Arizona Revised Statutes if they knowingly:
- Control another person’s property with the intent to keep the property;
- Use the services or property of another person;
- Obtain another person’s services or property through some type of misrepresentation;
- Come into the possession of another’s property that has been lost or mislaid, but do not make a reasonable effort to notify the true owner;
- Control the property of another person knowing it was stolen; or
- Obtain services without paying for them.
Additionally, an individual can be charged with theft under this section if they knowingly take control, title, use or management of a vulnerable person’s property with the intent to keep the property while they are in a position of trust and confidence. An example of a person in this position would be a nurse or caregiver or an individual who has a power of attorney over another person.
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Additional Theft Offenses in Mesa
As defined in the Arizona Revised Statutes, misdemeanor and felony theft crimes in Mesa can also include any of the following:
Robbery – ARS § 13-1902 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they take any property of another person against their will, and threaten or use force against the person to coerce them to surrender the property. A conviction for this offense can result in a class 4 felony.
Aggravated Robbery – ARS § 13-1903 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they commit robbery but are aided by one or more accomplice. A conviction for this offense can result in a class 3 felony.
Burglary – ARS § 13-1506 through 13-1508 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they enter or remain in a structure or a fenced yard with the intent to commit a theft or a felony in the structure or yard. This offense can be in the first, second or third degree and can result in a conviction for a class 2, 3, or 4 felony.
Shoplifting – ARS § 13-1805 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they knowingly obtain goods or merchandise displayed for sale in a store, retailer or establishment with the intent to permanently deprive the person or store selling the goods by:
- Taking the item without paying the purchase price;
- Charging the purchase price to a fictitious person;
- Transferring the goods from one container to another other;
- Concealing the goods; or
- By paying less than the purchase price by removing, substituting or otherwise disfiguring any label, price tag or other marking.
An individual charged with this offense can be convicted of a class 4, 5 or 6 felony, or class 1 misdemeanor.
Theft by Extortion – ARS § 13-1804 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they knowingly obtain or seek to obtain property or services by threatening to do any of the following:
- Cause physical injury by the use of a deadly weapon;
- Cause any other physical injury;
- Cause damage to property;
- Engage in other conduct constituting an offense;
- Accuse anyone of a crime or bring criminal charges against anyone;
- Expose a secret or a fact, whether true or not to damage the person’s credit or business; or
- Take or withhold action as a public servant.
This offense is generally punishable as a class 2 or class 4 felony.
Vehicle / Auto Theft – ARS § 13-1814 – An individual can be charged with theft of means of transportation if they knowingly control another person’s vehicle or means of transportation without lawful authority and with the intent to permanently deprive that person of their vehicle. This offense is punishable as a class 3 felony.
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Tempe Theft Crime Penalties
Penalties for felony and misdemeanor theft offenses are listed in Chapter 7 of Title 13 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. All crimes are assigned a sentence range, varying from a minimum term of imprisonment to a maximum term of imprisonment. However, first time offenders are generally sentenced to the presumptive term of imprisonment. Additionally, these sentences can increase or decrease depending on whether:
- The offense was mitigated;
- The offense was aggravated;
- The offense was dangerous or non-dangerous;
- A weapon was used during the offense;
- The alleged offender has any previous criminal convictions;
- The value of the allegedly stolen property; and/or
- The victim was elderly or disabled.
The statutory provided penalties for misdemeanor and felony theft crimes for a first-time offender in Arizona are as follows:
- A class 1 misdemeanor theft conviction can result in a jail sentence up to six months and/or a fine up to $2,500.
- A class 6 felony theft conviction can result in imprisonment ranging from six months to 18 months. The presumptive sentence for a first offender is one year.
- A class 5 felony theft conviction can result in imprisonment ranging from nine months to two years. The presumptive sentence for a first offender is 1.5 years.
- A class 4 felony theft conviction can result in imprisonment ranging from 18 months to three years. The presumptive sentence for a first offender is 2.5 years.
- A class 3 felony theft conviction can result in imprisonment ranging from 30 months to seven years. The presumptive sentence for a first offender is 3.5 years.
- A class 2 felony theft conviction can result in imprisonment ranging from four to ten years. The presumptive sentence for a first offender is five years.
Additionally, convicted theft offenders in Arizona may be required to pay restitution or other fees and/or take a shoplifting course if they allegedly committed a shoplifting offense. Felony theft offenders may also be required to pay a fine up to $150,000.
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Theft Civil Penalties in Tempe
According to section 12-691 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, an alleged shoplifter may be required to pay a civil penalty to the owner, store, retailer or merchant for any items or merchandise they allegedly took from the store. This civil penalty can include:
- The retail value of the goods;
- An additional penalty of at least $250, but not more than $250 plus the actual damages; and
- An emancipated minor must pay an addition penalty of $100, but not more than $100 plus the actual damages.
Under section 12-692 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, if the alleged offender is a minor that has not been emancipated, the parent or legal guardian may be required to:
- Pay a penalty for the retail value of the goods; and
- Pay an additional penalty of $100, but not more than $100 plus the actual damages.
Although these penalties may seem harsh, it is possible the retailer will not actually pursue legal action to recover these fees, but will probably only send a demand letter for payment. Many large retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Target, Toys “R” Us, Macy’s and CVS, will not actually pursue these types of penalties for such a small amount of money. However, this may be different for every store and every case, so it is important to first speak to your attorney about possible fees and penalties if you have been accused of shoplifting or theft.
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Mesa Theft Crime Resources
Arizona Revised Statutes – Chapter 18 of Title 13 of the Arizona Revised Statutes defines theft offenses and the penalties for a theft conviction in Arizona, including shoplifting, theft, theft by extortion and unlawful use of a vehicle. This link is to theft under ARS § 13-1802.
Arizona Revised Statutes – Chapter 19 of Title 13 of the Arizona Revised Statutes defines robbery offenses and the penalties an individual could face for a robbery, armed robbery or aggravated robbery conviction. This link is to robbery under ARS § 13-1902.
Arizona Revised Statutes – Chapter 15 of Title 13 of the Arizona Revised Statutes defines burglary offenses and the penalties an alleged offender could face for a conviction for burglary in the first degree, burglary in the second degree, and burglary in the third degree. This link is to burglary in the third degree under ARS § 13-1506.
Arizona Vehicle Theft Task Force – This website provides information on an investigative task force in Arizona, also known as the AVTTF, which was established to provide statewide expertise in the investigation of property and theft crimes involving stolen vehicles. The AVTTF is located at:
2102 W. Encanto Blvd.
Phoenix, Arizona 85009
Phone: (602) 223-2000
Kleptomaniacs and Shoplifters Anonymous – This organization, also known as CASA, provides counseling and meetings for individuals who suffer from an addictive-compulsive behavior, such as shoplifting, in order to effectively treat their addiction.
Approved Shoplifting Course in Arizona – Many individuals who have been charged with shoplifting offenses in Arizona are required to complete a shoplifting course as a term to their punishment. This link is to courses in Arizona that have been approved for individuals charged with shoplifting offenses in the state.
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Law Office of James E. Novak, PLLC | Theft Crimes Attorney in Tempe
Contact the Law Office of James E. Novak today for a consultation about your alleged theft offense throughout Maricopa County in Arizona. James Novak is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Tempe who will make every effort to fight the allegations against you and help you achieve the most desirable outcome for your alleged offense. Contact the Law Office of James E. Novak at (480) 413-1499 for a consultation about your theft crime allegations throughout Maricopa County in Arizona.