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In Arizona, criminal charges for theft can range from misdemeanor to serious felony offenses as enumerated in A.R.S. 13-1802. The severity of the charged offense, as well as the severity of its consequences, are almost exclusively based on the value of the property or service stolen.
Actions Leading to Common Theft Offenses in Arizona
A. A person commits theft if, without lawful authority, the person knowingly…
1. Controls property of another with the intent to deprive the other person of such property.
This is likely the most commonly committed version of theft under Arizona law and what people commonly envision as theft; taking/controlling the property of another with the intent to deprive them of said property.
2. Converts for an unauthorized term or use services or property of another entrusted to the defendant or placed in the defendant’s possession for a limited, authorized term or use.
An example of this offense may be if someone allows you to borrow a computer for a week and you knowingly decide to keep it for 3 months, well beyond the time they allowed you to borrow it.
3. Obtains services or property of another by means of any material misrepresentation with intent to deprive the other person of such property or services;
An example of this would be to falsely represent that you are authorized to accept, and obtain, property or services on someone else’s behalf.
4. Comes into control of lost, mislaid or misdelivered property of another under circumstances providing means of inquiry as to the true owner and appropriates such property to the person’s own or another’s use without reasonable efforts to notify the true owner.
An example of this would be if someone else’s package, with their name and the company sending the package, was misdelivered to your home and you simply chose to keep it as your own.
5. Controls property of another knowing or having reason to know that the property was stolen.
An example of this may be receiving property you know to be stolen or receiving property under circumstances that a reasonable person would know the property was stolen, such as purchasing a product valued at over $30,000 for only $500.
While there are several other enumerated theft offenses under A.R.S. 13-1802, the above appear to be the most common.
Levels of Criminal Charges for Theft
Class 2 felony – Theft of property or services with a value of twenty-five thousand dollars or more.
Class 3 felony – Theft of property or services with a value of four thousand dollars or more but less than twenty-five thousand dollars.
Class 4 felony- Theft of property or services with a value of three thousand dollars or more but less than four thousand dollars, except that theft of any vehicle engine or transmission regardless of value.
Class 5 felony – Theft of property or services with a value of two thousand dollars or more but less than three thousand dollars.
Class 6 felony – Theft of property or services with a value of one thousand dollars or more but less than two thousand dollars. Also, if the property which is taken from the person of another, is a firearm or is an animal taken for the purpose of animal fighting in violation of section 13-2910.01.
Class 1 misdemeanor – Theft of any property or services valued at less than one thousand dollars
Due to the potentially life-changing consequences a theft conviction can carry it is vital that you have the right attorney in your corner! If you have been charged with a theft offense in Arizona, you need to immediately seek representation from a seasoned criminal defense trial lawyer as soon as you can.