Grand Theft Defense Lawyer in Phoenix
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Phoenix Grand Theft Lawyer
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An accusation as serious as grand theft should not be taken lightly. This theft crime often results in felony charges, which can remain with a person for the rest of their life. When facing theft crime charges as serious as “grand theft,” you need the best Phoenix theft lawyer fighting for your rights.
At the Belén Law Firm, criminal defense attorney Belén Olmedo Guerra has represented countless clients throughout the Phoenix area against both minor criminal charges, like shoplifting, to more serious offenses, like assault and domestic violence. In addition to representing clients in criminal cases, Belén Olmedo Guerra also handles personal injury cases, like dog bites and car accidents.
Using her extensive experience in the courtroom, Belén Olmedo Guerra will never back down from a fight, especially when her client’s rights and freedoms are on the line. When you’re facing felony criminal charges, you can count on a Phoenix theft lawyer from the Belén Law Firm to help you secure the best outcome possible for your individual circumstances. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your charges, call (602) 715-0908 today.
Grand Theft in Arizona
“Grand theft” is not actually a charge in Arizona. Instead, theft crimes are either charged as misdemeanor theft or felony theft, depending on the value of the stolen property. When the value of property is worth $500 to $1,000, the crime is considered petty theft or misdemeanor theft. The crime is considered felony theft when the value is more than $1,000.
The most serious degree of felony theft in Arizona, which other states might consider a charge of “grand theft,” occurs when the stolen property or services are valued at $25,000 or more.
How Does Arizona Define Grand Theft?
ARS § 13-1802 outlines the various Arizona theft laws. A person can be found guilty of a theft crime under this statute when they knowingly take or use another person’s property or services without lawful authority. As we mentioned above, Arizona does not have a “grand theft” statute. Rather, under § 13-1802 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, a person may either be charged with either a misdemeanor offense or felony offense depending on the value of the stolen property or services.
Many states vary on the amounts of stolen property that are considered grand theft. In Arizona, the most serious degree of felony theft is a Class 2 felony, which refers to theft crimes valued at $25,000 or more. This is what other states might consider grand theft. There are some exceptions to the laws of theft and property value. For example, while auto theft could be considered felony theft based on the vehicle’s worth, it actually falls under ARS § 13-1814, which is the theft of means of transportation.
Since Arizona theft laws encompass many different crimes, it’s important to work with an experienced attorney familiar with the statutes. At the Belén Law Firm, attorney Belén Olmedo Guerra has represented clients against various theft crimes, including burglary, robbery, auto theft, and more.
ARS § 13-1802
According to ARS § 13-1802, a person commits theft when they:
- Use another’s property with the intent to steal or permanently deprive them of it.
- Takes another’s property or services once they’ve been entrusted with those goods or services and performs actions that they do not have authorization for.
- Fraudulently obtain goods or services from another person.
- Find and use the lost property without trying to find the owner.
- Obtains property or services of another through material misrepresentation in order to deprive that person of those goods or services.
- Takes the property of someone else knowing or having reason to believe the property had been stolen.
- Benefits from services without paying for them.
Under Arizona law, a person can also commit theft if they:
- Take control, use, title, or management of a vulnerable person’s property while in a position of trust and confidence, and
- Do so with the intent to rob the vulnerable person of that property.
It’s important to note the following terms in order to understand this Arizona law completely:
- A vulnerable adult is considered an individual 18 years or older and cannot protect themself from neglect, abuse, or exploitation due to mental or physical impairment.
- Property encompasses all forms of personal and real property.
Penalties for Theft Crimes in Phoenix
In Arizona, the penalties for theft crimes range in severity depending on the unique circumstances surrounding the case. For example, when facing felony theft (grand theft) charges, the value of property stolen will affect the severity of the penalties you could face following a conviction. Other factors, like criminal history and whether or not a firearm or dangerous weapon was used, can also increase criminal charges.
The various criminal charges one could receive from a Phoenix theft conviction are listed below. However, the penalties detailed below are only for first-time offenders. It’s important to remember that the punishments can vary if the person has prior convictions. Depending on the severity of the charges, the individual convicted may also be ordered to pay restitution to the victim of the crime and additional fines.
Petty Theft Charges
Petty theft, or misdemeanor theft, can be considered the theft of property or services valued below $1,000. This conviction can result in up to six months in jail or a minimum of three years probation.
Felony Theft Charges
A person could charged with felony theft if the property or services stolen are valued higher than $1,000. The various levels of felony charges one could receive are listed below.
Class 6 Felony
When the value of services or property is worth between $1,000 and $2,000, it’s considered a Class 6 felony. A conviction of this level of felony could result in four months to two years in prison or at least three years of probation.
Class 5 Felony
A Class 5 felony can be charged if the services or property stolen is worth between $2,000 and $3,000. This felony can result in six months to two-and-a-half years in prison or three years probation.
Class 4 Felony
If the services or property stolen is worth between $3,000 to $4,000, a person can be charged with a Class 4 felony. The punishment for this offense is one to four years in prison or a four-year probationary sentence.
Class 3 Felony
Stealing services or property valued between $4,000 and $25,000 can result in a Class 3 felony. If convicted, a person could serve two to eight years in prison or receive a five-year probationary sentence.
Class 2 Felony
When the services or property stolen are worth more than $25,000, a person can be charged with a Class 2 felony. This felony conviction can result in a maximum 12-year sentence served in a state facility or seven years of probation.
Whether you’re fighting against a misdemeanor or felony theft charge, working with an experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney is critical. Your chances of receiving a lesser sentence or having your charges dropped or dismissed greatly increase when you work with a theft defense attorney from the Belén Law Firm.
Defenses Against Arizona Theft Charges
There are a number of defense strategies that criminal defense lawyers can use when representing you against theft charges. The most common defenses against theft crime charges include:
- The individual took the property with the owner’s consent.
- The individual had good faith that they were entitled to the property.
- The person was the actual owner of the property.
- The individual unknowingly committed the theft crime.
- They were borrowing the property, intending to return it.
- The property was stolen, and the person didn’t realize the property had been stolen.
- The person had good faith they were allowed to take the property.
How a Phoenix Theft Crime Attorney Can Help
When facing a felony crime charge, you could lose your right to vote and possess a firearm, in addition to harsh prison sentences and fines. Those with felony theft charges on their criminal record can also have trouble finding employment, qualifying for a home or apartment, or even being approved for a loan. With consequences as serious as these, it’s critical to take your defense strategy seriously and hire the best Phoenix theft defense attorney for the job.
At the Belén Law Firm, criminal defense attorney Belén Olmedo Guerra will work with you to build a strong defense against the theft charges. Your legal team will perform their own investigation into the theft crime by evaluating evidence, studying police reports, interviewing witnesses, and more. No matter how serious the theft crime charges are, you can trust that your attorney will do everything possible to receive the best outcome from the case.
Facing Theft Charges? Call a Phoenix Theft Defense Attorney at Belén Law Firm Today
If you’ve been accused of committing felony theft in Arizona, it is in your best interest to contact the Belén Law Firm immediately. Not only can your theft crimes attorney advise you before talking to the police, but they can also be present during questioning and ensure your legal rights are protected and you don’t say anything that could negatively impact your case. The sooner you retain attorney Belén Olmedo Guerra, the sooner she can craft a strong defense to fight against the charges.
Our attorneys understand the difficulties one can face if convicted of a felony offense, which is why they treat every case with utmost importance. When defending her clients, Belén Olmedo Guerra provides quality legal representation with every case, no matter how minor the offense may seem or how serious the charges may be.