Theft crime is one of the most complex criminal offenses in Arizona’s laws. The Arizona theft statute, contained in Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-1802, criminalizes a wide variety of activities, and punishes them in various and different ways, which makes hiring a skilled Phoenix theft attorney imperative following a charge. According to Arizona crime statistics, a total of 1,659 people were arrested in 2018 for theft accusations, making theft crime one of the most common offenses in the state.
If you are charged with a theft crime, regardless of its classification, you need the services of an experienced, aggressive, and effective local theft attorney on your side. The consequences can be dire and you need someone to help you get the best possible result in your individual case.
Contact AZ Defenders by calling (480) 456-6400 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Get the legal representation you need, our law offices will take your call 24/7.
This group is great to work with! Very professional and organized as well as responsive to any questions. Along the way, I was provided with some very good tips that saved me a lot of time and hassle. Craig is a great attorney and was able to get me a reduced outcome on my case. I highly recommend working with them for your needs. I wouldn’t hesitate to call them again!
– Joe T.
The punishment for theft cases depends largely on the value of the property, with some exceptions. The criminal classifications range from a Class 1 Misdemeanor to a Class 2 Felony. If the property or services are valued at $25,000 or more, for example, then the theft is a Class 2 Felony.
The dollar amount at which theft charges in Arizona transition from a misdemeanor to a felony is $1,000, under A.R.S. Section 13-1802(G). If the goods that were allegedly stolen are valued at or above $1,000, the theft crime is automatically entered as a felony rather than a misdemeanor. This is an important distinction, as the consequences of a misdemeanor vs. felony conviction in Arizona vary considerably.
A felony will strip you of several constitutional rights, for example, such as the right to vote and bear arms, while a misdemeanor conviction will not. The penalties involved are also more severe and can jump from no jail time or a maximum term of six months to up to two years in prison plus three years of probation for the lowest degree of felony theft.
There are exceptions to the dollar amount rule, however. If a firearm of any value is stolen, the criminal charges are entered as a felony. Stealing an animal also automatically results in felony charges, regardless of the monetary value of the animal. Other extenuating circumstances, such as taking property from someone’s person or using a deadly weapon, can also upgrade a misdemeanor charge to felony theft.
Charged with theft? Schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced Phoenix theft attorney from AZ Defenders.
There are ten ways to commit theft under the theft statute, Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-1802. Theft covers a broad scope of crimes, including identity theft, credit card fraud, burglary, and more. To commit theft in Arizona, you knowingly, and without lawful authority:
Theft charges can have devastating effects on a criminal defendant’s life. A conviction can permanently change a defendant’s future, such as the ability to attain a job or housing. The strength of your defense can make all of the difference. Working with a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney in Phoenix can give you the edge that you need to build the strongest and most compelling defense possible.
Although every case is unique, examples of potential defenses that may be used against theft charges include:
These are a few potential defense strategies that could be used in a theft case in Arizona. Your lawyer will go through all of the possible defenses available based on the specific facts of your case. At AZ Defenders, we personalize each defense strategy for the unique case and client. In this way, we achieve the best possible results for each case rather than recommending that all of our clients take plea deals. Discuss your potential defense with our attorneys for more specific information.
A Phoenix theft attorney will have the knowledge and expertise to craft a defense strategy that is best suited to achieve case dismissal, reduced charges or another positive case outcome. This can protect you from the worst possible penalties associated with a theft allegation, which often include time spent in jail or prison.
In addition, your lawyer can take care of complicated legal matters for you during your case, such as attending hearings on your behalf, filing motions and paperwork, communicating with the prosecutor and courts, and representing you before a judge and jury. Having a lawyer handle these processes for you can ensure that they are done correctly while simultaneously giving you the mental freedom to focus on yourself and your future.
The price of hiring a criminal defense attorney can be well worth the value that you get out of your lawyer when facing theft charges. Yet it’s important to be aware of how much your lawyer charges and how he or she bills for the law firm’s time and services. This can help you remain in better control of the cost of your case.
Criminal defense lawyers typically charge either flat fees or hourly rates. Due to the variable nature of cases in criminal law, hourly rates are more common. With this payment arrangement, how much your attorney costs depends on the number of hours the lawyer spends litigating your case. This can vary considerably based on the complexity of your theft charges and the factors involved.
At AZ Defenders, we understand that cost is a concern for most criminal defendants. We make our fees transparent and easy to understand so that you know exactly what to expect upfront – no unwelcome surprises at the end of your case. We also pride ourselves on making our services affordable, and base our rates on each client’s specific situation.
Every criminal defendant has the right to legal counsel. If you cannot afford an attorney, a public defender will be appointed for you at little to no cost. When making the decision between a public defender and a private lawyer, however, keep in mind that you get what you pay for. A private attorney will have significantly more time and resources to spend on your case. The cost of an attorney should not stop you from protecting yourself as much as possible when your future is at stake.
At AZ Defenders, our criminal defense attorneys have decades of combined experience. Our Phoenix theft lawyers have a track record of won cases and are known as one of the most aggressive criminal attorneys in the state. We serve clients all around the Phoenix area, Maricopa County, Prima County, and more. You can read more about our case results, here or give us a call to schedule your free theft crime case evaluation. No matter how severe your theft charges are, we will do our best to protect your legal rights.