Take Colorado Springs Theft Charges Seriously
In Colorado, there are many different types of theft a person can be charged with. Regardless of what type of theft charges you may be facing, any charge is a serious legal matter – and can have an impact on the rest of your life.
The Law Office of Andrew Bryant understands how vital it is to fight your theft charges, and we always vigorously defend our clients, regardless of whether they are facing a misdemeanor or a felony. In either situation, you could be up against consequences that include high fines and incarceration time, as well as the blemish of having a criminal charge on your record.
If you find yourself in this situation, you must fight back as hard as possible. That means understanding how Colorado law treats theft charges and the defense strategies most likely to help you obtain a positive outcome.
What Exactly Is “Theft” in Colorado Springs?
In our state, the law defines theft as knowingly obtaining or retaining control over something of value from another with the intention to permanently deprive them of that item, without their authorization or through using deception or threat.
The theft laws in Colorado are broad enough that they can include crimes such as embezzlement, shoplifting, larceny, and grand larceny. Additionally, under the law, theft charges can even apply to those who didn’t actually steal something of value.
How is that possible? Legally speaking, you can commit theft by proxy by accepting stolen property or failing to return property that you were only authorized to hold for a certain time.
To complicate matters further, the laws in our state categorize theft as either a misdemeanor crime or felony crime dependent upon the value of the item taken. Other factors that can influence how theft is charged are whether or not a weapon was used in the commission of the crime, whether the person charged has a previous criminal history, and how the crime took place.
2022 Additions Concerning Theft of Public Benefits in CO
In 2022, the legislature made a few changes to the theft of public benefits law that everyone should be aware of. The law now states:
“A person commits theft when he or she knowingly obtains, retains, or exercises control over anything of value of another without authorization or by threat or deception; receives, loans money by pawn or pledge on, or disposes of anything of value or belonging to another that he or she knows or believes to have been stolen; or procures food or accommodations from a public establishment without making payment, therefore, and:
(d) Demands any consideration to which he or she is not legally entitled as a condition of restoring the thing of value to the other person; or
(e) Knowingly retains the thing of value more than seventy-two hours after the agreed-upon time of return in any lease or hire agreement; OR
(f) INTENTIONALLY MISREPRESENTS OR WITHHOLDS A MATERIAL FACT FOR DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY FOR A PUBLIC BENEFIT AND DOES SO FOR THE PURPOSE OF OBTAINING OR RETAINING PUBLIC BENEFITS FOR WHICH THE PERSON IS NOT ELIGIBLE.
(12) A PERSON’S CONDUCT THAT IS LIMITED TO THE ELEMENTS OF SUBSECTION (1)(f) OF THIS SECTION IS NOT SUBJECT TO PROSECUTION PURSUANT TO ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS SECTION.”
The altered sections have been italicized. Parts (d) and (e) was amended from the previous version, and (f) and (12) were added to the law.
Misdemeanor Theft in Colorado
As previously mentioned, the level of theft a person is charged with in Colorado depends on the value of the item involved in the crime. For misdemeanor theft crimes, this typically means the value is more than $50 but less than $2,000.
Here are the levels of misdemeanor theft in our state and the associated penalties:
Class 3 Misdemeanor Theft
If the item’s value is more than $50 but not over $300, it is a Class 3 misdemeanor. That is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and fines of as much as $750
Class 2 Misdemeanor Theft
For a person to be charged with Class 2 misdemeanor theft, the value of the item involved must be between $300 and $750. If found guilty, a person can face up to one year in jail and be responsible for fines of as much as $1,000.
Class 1 Misdemeanor Theft
The most severe misdemeanor theft is charged when the item’s value is between $750 and $2,000. If found guilty, a person can face up to 18 months behind bars and be responsible for fines of as much as $5,000.
Felony Theft in Colorado
The theft of items with a value of more than $2,000 will result in felony theft charges. Here is a list of the felony theft crimes in Colorado and their associated penalties:
Class 6 Felony Theft
If the item is valued between $2,000 and $5,000, then Class 6 felony theft will likely be the charge. The penalties for this include up to 18 months in prison, one year of parole post-release, and fines of as much as $100,000.
Class 5 Felony Theft
For items valued between $5,000 and $20,000, Class 5 felony theft charges can result. This felony is punishable by up to three years in prison, up to three years of parole after release, and fines of as much as $100,000.
Class 4 Felony Theft
Class 4 felony theft involves an item between $20,000 and $100,000. It is penalized by incarceration in prison for up to 6 years, three years of parole after release, and fines of as much as $500,000.
Class 3 Felony Theft
Class 3 felony theft is associated with crimes where the item’s value is between $100,000 and $1 million. It is punishable by as many as 12 years in prison, parole of five years after release, and fines of as much as $750,000.
Class 2 Felony Theft
If the item involved in the crime is valued at over $1 million, it’s a Class 2 felony. That is punishable by as many as 24 years behind bars and fines of $1 million. You may also be subject to five years of parole post-release.
Additional Consequences of a CO Theft Conviction
Though the criminal penalties for theft crimes can be significant, they’re not the only thing someone accused of theft needs to worry about. Aside from criminal penalties, a criminal conviction for theft will go on your criminal record, which can result in difficulty finding employment, including applying for or renewing professional licenses. Careers that involve some measure of financial responsibility may not be an option for a person with a criminal history of theft.
With theft on their criminal record, a person can also have problems securing housing – and even problems applying for loans in the future. Unfortunately, a conviction for theft on your criminal record can signal potential employers, landlords, and even banks that you cannot be trusted in matters involving money or business. It is well within the rights of others to deny you services based on your criminal history, which is a big reason why avoiding a criminal conviction is important.
Call on an Experienced Colorado Theft Attorney Immediately
Theft charges may not seem as serious as those associated with violent crimes, but they can ruin your future just as readily. Your best chance at protecting your rights and getting your life back on track is to work with a proven defense lawyer who understands how to fight for your rights.
The knowledgeable attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Bryant have the experience to help guide you through our complex legal system, evaluating each detail of your case to ensure you have a voice. Take the first step in your defense – contact The Law Office of Andrew Bryant today by filling out our contact form or calling 719-634-7353.