Felony Theft FAQs
While the crime of theft is straightforward in theory, Arizona’s theft laws can be difficult to understand. Thus, it’s common for people facing felony theft charges to have questions about the allegations against them, what they could face if they are convicted, and how to effectively defend against the charges.
At the Law Office of James E. Novak, we have more than 20 years of experience aggressively defending the rights of clients charged with felony shoplifting and other serious theft crimes. We believe that the more you know about your case going into it, the more confident you’ll be and the less of an impact it will have on your life. We also know that it can be hard to find accurate felony theft FAQs, which is why we’ve put together a list of the most common questions our clients have about these cases.Felony Theft Frequently Asked Questions
- What Makes Theft a Felony in Arizona?
- What are the Defenses to Felony Theft Charges?
- What is the Punishment for a Tempe Felony Theft Crime?
- Have You Been Charged with a Maricopa County Theft Crime?
Most Arizona theft crimes are felonies, and there are only a few limited situations where a theft crime is a misdemeanor. For example, any of the following are felony theft crimes:
- Theft of another’s property valued at $1,000 or more;
- Shoplifting goods valued at $1,000 or more;
- A second shoplifting conviction within two years;
- Issuing a bad check for more than $5,000;
- Motor vehicle theft;
- Failing to return a vehicle after defaulting on a car loan; and
- Unlawful use of a means of transportation.
Under Arizona law, the term theft includes more than physically taking another’s belongings; it also includes situations where you misled someone into giving you property. It is also considered theft if you keep property you found without making a reasonable effort to locate the rightful owner.
There are many defenses to theft crimes; however, not all defenses apply in every situation. Some of the most common felony theft defenses include the following:
- The value of the allegedly stolen goods was less than $1,000;
- You had the property owner’s permission to use, control or possess the items they claimed you stole;
- You accidentally took another’s property;
- You intended to return the items; or
- Police officers violated your rights when searching you or your car, home or belongings.
An experienced Tempe criminal defense lawyer can help those facing felony theft charges determine which defenses might apply to their case.
Felony theft charges are incredibly serious, and they all carry the possibility of a jail sentence [link to Punishments for Felony Theft in Arizona]. All felony theft crimes fall into one of the following categories:Class 6 Felony Theft
Theft of goods or services with a value between $1,000 and $2,000 is a Class 6 felony, punishable by a presumptive sentence of one year in jail.Class 5 Felony Theft
Theft of goods or services with a value between $2,000 and $3,000 is a Class 5 felony, punishable by a presumptive sentence of 1.5 years in jail.Class 4 Felony Theft
Theft of goods or services with a value between $3,000 and $4,000 is a Class 4 felony, punishable by a presumptive sentence of 2.5 years in jail.Class 3 Felony Theft
Theft of goods or services with a value between $4,000 and $25,000 is a Class 3 felony, punishable by a presumptive sentence of 3.5 years in jail.Class 2 Felony Theft
Theft of goods or services with a value over $25,000 is a Class 2 felony, punishable by a presumptive sentence of five years in jail.
If you were recently arrested and charged with theft, reach out to the Law Office of James E. Novak to schedule a free consultation. At the Law Office of James E. Novak, we have decades of hands-on experience protecting our clients from the worst consequences of a criminal conviction. We take an individualized approach to every case we handle, working closely with you to develop a strong defense to the charges you face. We are often able to convince prosecutors to reduce our clients’ charges to a misdemeanor, avoiding the stress and uncertainty of a trial. However, because Attorney Novak is an experienced litigator, he’s equally comfortable taking your case to trial to clear your name. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call 480-413-1499 or fill out our secure contact form.