The Definition of Theft Crimes under Arizona Law
Theft is defined and classified several different ways under Arizona regulations. There are numerous offenses that can lead to theft charges, each one bringing specific consequences to the table. Classification and definitions of theft crimes under Arizona law can be found in Arizona Revised Statutes 13-1802.
Arizona Theft Classification
Under Arizona regulations, theft can be classified in several distinctive ways. Here are a few of the most common offenses that fall under the category:
- Knowingly controlling the property of another person for the purpose of depriving said person of the respective property
- Obtaining the property or belongings of another person via material misrepresentation
- Establishing ownership over the property of another person that has been lost or mis-delivered (whenever the name and the location of the true owner can be identified)
- Controlling property of another person while knowing that said property has been stolen
- Obtaining services without paying
- Obtaining property and claiming ownership over it whenever said property has been placed in one’s possession for a short period of time and without the transfer of rights
- Taking control of the assets of an incapacitated adult
- Obtaining somebody else’s property either through intimidation or deception
As you can see, theft isn’t classified solely as breaking and entering somebody else’s property for the purpose of obtaining belongings or valuables. Any attempt to do material misrepresentation, commit fraud or coerce another person into giving up property will be classified as well as theft crimes under Arizona law.
Arizona Penalty for Theft Crimes
Theft charges can lead to both misdemeanor and felony sentences.
Petty theft will typically result in misdemeanor charges. This is the least severe of all theft crimes and the penalty can be expected to reach up to six months in jail. A person who is committing petty theft for the first time will probably get a minimal sentence, especially if they have an experienced legal representative.
The theft of property valued anywhere between 1,000 and 2,000 dollars will result in a Class 6 felony charge. A Class 6 felony comes with a minimum sentence of four months in jail and a maximum sentence of two years in prison.
Whenever the value of belongings or property stolen exceeds 3,000 dollars, the offender faces a Class 5 felony charge. Class 4 felonies come with sanctions of anywhere between one and 3.75 years in prison.
The most serious offense will result in a Class 2 felony. The value of stolen property should exceed 25,000 dollars for a person to be charged. In this instance, the penalty will be in the range from three to 12.5 years in prison. A first-time offender will face the smallest possible sentence while a person who has a previous criminal record could get the maximum jail time.
Possible Defense Scenarios
It’s imperative to get in touch with a criminal defense attorney as soon as you’re charged with theft crimes under Arizona law. The lawyer will examine the specifics of the charges and choose a line of defense that will deliver the best possible outcome.
A few of the viable defense scenarios include the following:
- Establishing the legal ownership of the property by the person being charged with theft
- Demonstrating a lack of criminal intent in one of the above-mentioned scenario
- Demonstrating consent on behalf of the owner to transfer rights or grant ownership to somebody else
- Demonstrating intoxication
- Showing that a violation of constitutional rights has occurred during the criminal proceedings
Even if it isn’t possible to get the charges dismissed altogether, a good attorney will make it possible to minimize the sentence. You will also have a good idea about what to expect during the process, how to cooperate with the authorities and get the best outcome under the circumstances.