Have you been arrested for theft in Apache Junction, Arizona? If so, your future and freedom are at stake. In order to defend against the charges levied against you and protect your rights, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Matthew Lopez Law is here to answer your questions and provide you an adequate defense before the courts.
What’s the Difference Between Theft, Robbery, and Burglary?
Theft, robbery, and burglary are each distinct crimes under Arizona law. Each is covered by its own provision of the Arizona Penal Code and has its own set of possible penalties.
- Theft (Title 13: Chapter 18) is taking property that does not involve person-to-person interaction. A person merely takes property that does not belong to him or her.
- Robbery (Title 13: Chapter 19) is taking property that involves person-to-person interaction with force, intimidation, and/or coercion.
- Burglary (Title 13: Chapter 15) is entering a building or residence with the intention to commit theft or any felonious crime. Burglary does not require that property be stolen or that person-to-person interaction occur.
While theft is most often associated with taking property, it can also involve stealing services. Depending on the exact applicable laws, theft can occur where someone doesn’t pay for but uses services such as:
- Cellphone services
- Hotel accommodations
- Public transportation
- Restaurant services
Many states, including Arizona, as well as the United States government, have passed laws specifically criminalizing identity theft (Title 13: Chapter 20, 13-2008). Other types of modern theft encountered commonly include fraud (Title 13: Chapter 23, 13-2310) and embezzlement (Title 13: Chapter 18, 13-1802).
Penalties for Theft
Penalties for theft under Arizona law vary according to the value of property stolen, as well as other mitigating circumstances.
Class 1 Misdemeanor Theft – The lowest level theft under Arizona law, for property or services valued at less than $1,000, is punishable by up to 6 months of incarceration and a fine of not more than $2,500. The court also may order the payment of restitution, meaning the offender must reimburse the victim for the value of the stolen property. However, if the offender takes the property directly from a person, if the property is a firearm, or if the property is an animal taken for the purposes of animal fighting, the theft may be bumped up to a class 6 felony, regardless of the value of the property
Class 6 Felony Theft – For property or services valued at least $1,000, but not more than $2,000. This level of felony carries a sentence of imprisonment for at least 4 months to a maximum of 2 years and a fine no greater than $150,000.
Class 5 Felony Theft – For property or services valued between $2,000 and $3,000, is punishable by imprisonment for a minimum of 6 months to a maximum of 2.5 years, plus a fine of not more than $150,000.
Class 4 Felony Theft – For property or services valued between $3,000 and $4,000, is punishable by imprisonment ranging from 1 year to 3.75 years, as well as a fine of no more than $150,000. Also, a person who commits shoplifting, and who has two or more previous convictions that involved burglary, shoplifting, robbery, or theft within the past 5 years, also commits a class 4 felony.
Class 3 Felony Theft – For property or services valued over $4,000 but not greater than $25,000, is punishable by imprisonment for 2 to 8.75 years, plus a fine of no greater than $150,000.
Class 2 Felony Theft – For property or services with a value of $25,000 or more is punishable by imprisonment ranging from a minimum of 3 years to a maximum of 12.5 years, as well as a fine of no greater than $150,000.
How Can an Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me?
Any prior criminal conviction, misdemeanor or felony, on your record will likely mean harsher sentences for a subsequent theft offense. It is important, therefore, that you contact Matthew Lopez Law right away to begin constructing an adequate defense. Matthew Lopez knows how to defend against various levels of theft charges and defend your rights. Call (480) 374-8939 in Apache Junction or fill out the online contact form today to arrange your free initial consultation.