Colorado has a group of crimes referred to as property crimes. It encompasses acts such as burglary, robbery, receiving stolen property, and theft. The penalties associated with these crimes can be quite severe and shoplifting falls under this list.
In fact, a large percentage of the thefts committed in Colorado in any given year is considered shoplifting, and the penalties for the crime can be quite severe.
Moreover, committing other crimes in conjunction with a shoplifting incident in Colorado can land you in even more serious trouble. One Colorado Springs man found that out the hard way after revealing a gun to the police while attempting to shoplift.
Learn more about the laws surrounding shoplifting in Colorado and the penalties you could face if convicted of a shoplifting crime.
Shoplifting in Colorado
When someone knowingly takes merchandise without paying from a store, then that is considered shoplifting in Colorado. Of course, intent plays a role too, as the person shoplifting must have intended to deprive the owner of the goods permanently. The person shoplifting must also not have permission from the owner to take the merchandise.
Types of theft also included in shoplifting are taking items without payment, returning an item that was not bought at a store in order to get credit or money back, and altering price tags, packaging, and labels in order to pay less money or no money at all for an item.
The Penalties for Shoplifting
The penalties associated with shoplifting depend on the price of the items that were stolen. There are generally nine value ranges that dictate the penalties associated with each conviction. See each value range and the typical sentence a conviction for it carries.
Items Valued at $50 or Less
This is a Class 1 petty offense. It can result in up to six months in prison and fines of as much as $500.
Items Valued Between $50 and $300
This is a Class 3 misdemeanor, punishable by as much as six months in prison and fines of $750.
Items Valued Between $300 and $750
This is a Class 2 misdemeanor and is punishable by as much as one year in prison and fines of $1,000.
Items Valued Between $750 and $2,000
This is a Class 1 misdemeanor. It is punishable by as much as 18 months behind bars and be responsible for fines of as much as $5,000.
Items Valued Between $2,000 and $5,000
This is a Class 6 felony punishable by as much as 18 months in prison and fines of $100,000.
Items Valued Between $5,000 and $20,000
This is a Class 5 felony, which can be punished by up to three years behind bars and fines of $100,000.
Items Valued Between $20,000 and $100,000
This is a Class 4 felony. It is punishable by up to six years in prison and fines of as much as $500,000.
Items Valued Between $100,000 and $1 million
This is a Class 3 felony, punishable by as many as 12 years behind bars and fines of as much as $750,000.
Items Valued at $1 Million or More
This is a Class 2 felony and can result in up to 24 years in prison and fines up to $1 million.
What About Brandishing a Weapon
If you, like that man shoplifting in Colorado Springs, brandish a weapon while committing a shoplifting offense, you can face additional charges beyond shoplifting.
Often, menacing is charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on how the weapon was used, and any hint that you have a weapon or if you brandish one openly you can reasonably expect to be charged with a felony.
Assault or aggravated assault may also be on the table depending on the circumstances of the case. You get the idea. The more complicated the case the greater value an experienced defense attorney can bring to the table. For questions about your shoplifting case, reach out!
About the Author:
Andrew Bryant is a well-respected Colorado Springs criminal attorney who has been practicing in the area for years. A Colorado native, he returned to the home he loves after graduating from the University of Kentucky College of Law. Now, he uses the knowledge he gained as an El Paso County District Attorney to fight tirelessly for his clients’ rights. He is AV-Preeminent rated, has been recognized for his work by The National Trial Lawyers, and has been named to Best of the Springs lists by The Gazette for years.