Grand Theft

Tempe Lawyers for Charges of Grand Theft

Grand theft is a serious accusation. You could be convicted of grand theft if you knowingly took someone’s property or services without permission intending to deprive him of these when the property or services have more than a certain value. If charged with this serious crime, you will need legal representation from an experienced Tempe theft charges lawyer. You should discuss your situation with James E. Novak, an attorney well-versed in the tactics prosecutors use when prosecuting theft crimes. Mr. Novak brings insights from his earlier career as a prosecutor when devising a sound strategy to defend clients in Maricopa County.

Grand Theft

Like other states, theft crimes in Arizona are classified according to the value of property or services that are taken and the kind of property that was taken irrespective of value. Theft is divided into six levels of severity that range from misdemeanors to class 2 felonies.

Arizona Revised Statute section 13-1802 provides that you can be convicted of theft if a prosecutor can prove you knowingly acted in any of the following ways:

  • Controlled another’s property intending to deprive him or her or
  • Converted for an unauthorized use or term any goods or services or
  • Obtained another’s property or services through material misrepresentation or
  • Controlled lost or improperly delivered property with reason to know the property was stolen or
  • Knowingly grabbed title, control, management or use of a vulnerable adult’s property without authorization or
  • Converted for an improper time period or use another’s services or property entrusted to you or temporarily given to you for limited use or
  • Obtained services or goods of another through material misrepresentation intending to deprive the other of those services or property or
  • Misappropriated goods to your own use without reasonable efforts to give notice to the true owner or
  • Controlled goods of another with a basis for knowing the property was stolen
  • Obtained services you know are meant to be paid for or diverted another’s services to your own or another’s benefit without authority to do it.

You can also be charged with theft if you knowingly used intimidation or deceit to take title, use, control or manage a vulnerable or incapacitated person’s property while serving in a role of confidence and trust.

Generally, people use the term “grand theft’ when discussing theft of property or services that are worth higher than a minimum set amount. In Arizona, theft of property or services worth at least $25,000 or more is viewed as grand theft; it is charged as a class 2 felony. When property is worth $4000 - $25,000, a class 3 felony can be charged. If the property or services at issue are worth $3000 - $4000, a class 4 felony may be charged. Stealing any vehicle engine or transmission is also a class 4 felony, irrespective of its value. A class 5 felony can be charged if the property or services at issue are worth $2000 - $3000. When property or services stolen are $1000 - $2000, you may be charged with class 6 felony theft. When stolen property is worth less than $1000 it is likely to be referred to as petty theft.


Under Arizona law, sentencing for grand theft is partly based on whether you already have a criminal record. Sentencing may involve incarceration, fines, and probation. However, in some situations, judges issue sentences involving jail or prison time, but suspend the term of incarceration. When probation is imposed, judges are also empowered to issue orders sending you to prison for violating probation terms. Additionally, judges can order that some or all of the fines you paid be used as restitution to compensate for the losses of the person from whom you stole.

Hire an Experienced Tempe Grand Theft Attorney

When the term “grand theft” is used, it typically refers to felony theft, for which incarceration is likely to be part of the sentence. Prosecutors and judges take theft of high value items or services seriously. Tempe criminal defense lawyer James E. Novak may be able to represent you in grand theft charges. He represents those accused of theft in Phoenix, as well as Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, and Maricopa County. Contact him at (480) 413-1499 or complete our online form.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation
(840) 413-1499