What is the Difference Between Misdemeanor and Felony CO Theft?

Theft is a crime taken very seriously in the state of Colorado, but it’s not a crime where one-size-fits-all penalties are slapped on each person who is convicted. In fact, there are a lot of nuances involved with theft charges in the state.

In Colorado, the value of the property taken, the circumstances of the theft, the use of a weapon, and any prior criminal history on the part of the defendant play a big role in the charges and potential penalties. That’s why it’s vital for anyone facing theft charges to understand what that means and what they’re up against.

Read on to find out what you need to know about theft in Colorado, including the difference between a misdemeanor and felony theft.

What Is Theft in Colorado?

Theft is defined in Colorado as exercising control over or obtaining control over the belongings of another knowingly, without their permission, and with the intent to deprive them of their property permanently. It can also be charged for concealing, using, or abandoning property knowingly, or demanding payment in order for the owner to have their property given back to them.

Different Types of Theft Charges

In Colorado, theft can be a petty offense, misdemeanor, or felony. How severe the charges are depend on the value of the property.

Petty Offense

Petty theft is often charged in cases where the value of the property does not exceed $50. Many people who shoplift items with a low value from stores will face this type of charge. While petty theft may not seem serious, it can still result in a jail sentence of up to six months and fines of as much as $500. The perpetrator may also be ordered to pay restitution to the victim.

Misdemeanor Theft

Misdemeanor theft has many different classifications. This includes:

  • Class 3 misdemeanor for goods or services valued between $50 and $300
  • Class 2 misdemeanor for goods or services valued between $300 and $750
  • Class 1 misdemeanor for goods or services valued between $750 and $2,000

Class 1 misdemeanors will carry the most serious sentence of up to 18 months in jail and fines of as much as $5,000.

Felony Theft

Theft will fall into the category of a felony theft if the property taken is worth more than $2,000. However, just as with misdemeanor theft, there are many levels of felony theft that are associated with the value of the property in question. They are:

  • Class 6 felony for property valued between $2,000 and $5,000
  • Class 5 felony when the property is valued between $5,000 and $20,000
  • Class 4 felony when the property is valued between $20,000 and $100,000
  • Class 3 felony when the property is valued between $100,000 and $1 million
  • Class 2 felony when the property is valued at $1 million or more

Colorado Springs Theft Crimes Lawyer

The most severe penalty is associated with Class 2 felonies, which can result in a prison sentence of up to 24 years and fines of as much as $1 million.

A theft conviction can have a serious impact on your life beyond any time in jail or prison and fines or even restitution. You also face a conviction that will stay on your criminal record for life, something that can impact future employment opportunities and even housing. That’s why it’s important to find an experienced attorney to help defend you against theft charges in Colorado.


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.