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Theft A.R.S. §13-1802

Whether in the Phoenix area, or anywhere in Arizona, per A.R.S. §13-1802 “Theft” can occur in a variety of ways. Watch this short video where David explains Theft in Arizona:

Depending on the value of the property, theft can be classified as a simple misdemeanor all the way up to a class two (2) felony, and the severity of the punishments vary widely.
  1. When a person, without lawful authority, controls the property of another with the intent to deprive the other person of such property.
  2. When a person converts services or property of another without authorization or by means of any material misrepresentation (i.e., stolen cable).
  3. The defendant comes into control and appropriates to their own personal use lost, mislaid or misdelivered property of another person under circumstances providing means of inquiry as to the true owner , without reasonable efforts to notify the true owner.
  4. The defendant controls property of another knowing or having reason to know that the property was stolen. Theft can also be charged when the defendant obtains services known to the defendant to be available only for compensation and the defendant does not pay the compensation or make an agreement to pay.
  5. Theft also occurs when a person knowingly takes control, title, use or management of an incapacitated or vulnerable adult’s assets or property through intimidation or deception. Proof that a person took control, title, use or management of a vulnerable adult’s property without adequate consideration to the vulnerable adult may give rise to an inference that the person intended to deprive the vulnerable adult of the property.

Click Here to View Our Theft A.R.S. §13-1802 Court Case Victories

Possible Punishment for Theft

If the Theft of property or services has a value which exceeds $25,000.00, then it can be charged as a class two (2) felony. For a first offense class two (2) felony, punishment can be probation with zero (0) days in jail up to one (1) year in jail, or prison of three (3) years to twelve and one half (12.5) years of incarceration. If the person has one (1) allegeable historical prior conviction, then the “prison only” range is four and one half (4.5) years to twenty-three and one quarter (23.25) years in prison. If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior convictions, then the “prison only” range is ten and one half (10.5) to thirty-five (35) years of incarceration.

WARNING: if the value of the property or services exceeds $100,000.00, then probation is not available and the range is “prison only” from three (3) years to twelve and one half (12.5) years of incarceration.

If the value of the property or services is $4,000.00 or more but less than $25,000.00 then the person can be charged with a class three (3) felony. For a first offense class three (3) felony, punishment can be probation with zero (0) days to one (1) year in jail, or prison range of two (2) to eight and three quarters (8.75) years in prison. If the person has one (1) allegeable historical prior conviction then the “prison only” range is three and one half (3.5) years to sixteen and one quarter (16.25) years of incarceration. If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior convictions, then the “prison only” range is seven and one half (7.5) years to twenty-five (25) years of incarceration.

If the value of the property or services is $3,000.00 but less than $4,000.00, then the person can be charged with a class four (4) felony (except that theft of any vehicle engine or transmission is a class 4 felony regardless of value). For a first offense class four (4) felony, punishment can be probation with zero (0) days in jail up to one (1) year in jail, or prison of one (1) year to three and three quarters (3.75) years of incarceration. If the person has one (1) allegeable historical prior conviction, then the “prison only” range is two and one quarter (2.25) to seven and one half (7.5) years of incarceration. If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior convictions, then the “prison only” range is six (6) to fifteen (15) years of incarceration.

If the value of the property or services is $2,000.00 or more but less than $3,000.00, then the person can be charged with a class five (5) felony. A first offense punishment range for a class five (5) felony can be probation with zero (0) days up to one (1) year in jail, or prison of six (6) months to two and one half (2.5) years in custody. If the person has one (1) historical allegeable prior felony conviction, then the “prison only” range is one (1) to three and three quarters (3.75) years of incarceration. If the person has two (2) historical allegeable prior felony convictions then the “prison only” range is three (3) years to seven and one half (7.5) years of incarceration.

If the value of the property or services is $1,000.00 or more but less than $2,000.00, then the person can be charged with a class six (6) felony. For a first offense a class six (6) felony, punishment can be probation with zero (0) days up to one (1) year in jail, or prison of four (4) months to two (2) years of incarceration. If the person has one (1) historical allegeable prior felony conviction, then the “prison only” range is nine (9) months to two and three quarters (2.75) years in prison. If the person has two (2) historical allegeable prior felony convictions, then the “prison only” range is two and one quarter (2.25) to five and three quarters (5.75) years of incarceration.

If the value of the property or services is less than $1,000.00, then the person can be charged with a class one (1) misdemeanor (unless the property is taken from the person of another, is a firearm, or is an animal taken for the purpose of animal fighting in which case the theft is a class 6 felony). A class one (1) misdemeanor carries a possible range of punishment of probation with zero (0) days to six (6) months in jail. In addition, a fine of $2,500.00 plus 84% surcharge can be added on, along with restitution.

Any fine imposed as punishment by the judge may be suspended and the defendant can be required to commit community service instead.

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Possible Defenses for Theft

One of the most often seen defenses to Theft is consent by the true owner to the defendant’s use or appropriation of the property or service. The typical situation occurs in close relationships (roommates, boyfriend / girlfriend, fraternity houses, etc.) where a person grants permission to the defendant to use a piece of property, money, or a credit card, or to split some utility service, or has granted the permission in the past to the use. Then when the relationship goes bad, the true owner rescinds that permission without the knowledge of the defendant accuses the defendant of some type of Theft. It is important to interview all parties involved and all witnesses to the habits and conversations of the parties to show that there was actually permission to the use by the defendant. Another way that the victim consented to the use by the defendant occurs when the defendant loans “the victim” money and tells him to “pay me back by the 15th, or I will hold on to X property until you pay me.” The “victim” accepts the exchange of the property as collateral for his debt, but when he cannot pay the defendant back, he claims that the defendant stole the property. It is important to interview all people who may have been witnesses to the “consent” in order to demonstrate to the prosecutor that this is not a true theft.

Another common defense to Theft is “Mistake of Fact”. This occurs when the defendant takes property they believe to belong to one person who has given the defendant permission, but in fact, the property belongs to an entirely different person. This often happens in a multiple roommates setting (such as dorm room or fraternity houses). Again, it is important to interview all parties involved to discover what actually occurred. Another typical mistake of fact situation is where the defendant is sold, given permission to borrow, or gifted an item, but the “seller/loaner/giver” either stole the item, or does not have lawful authority over the item; this was completely unknown to the defendant. Lastly, we have seen situations where a person is merely “borrowing” an item from a neighbor or acquaintance and this is misconstrued as an attempt to “deprive” the other person of their property. An obvious example is one neighbor borrowing their other neighbor’s lawnmower to use for a couple of hours.

A statutory defense to the charge of theft by taking control of a vulnerable person’s assets is that the property was given as a gift, consistent with a pattern of gift giving by the “victim” to the defendant, that existed before the adult became vulnerable.

Additionally, because our law firm fights conviction from all angles, we would assert a wide range of defenses and challenges to constitutional violations that apply in all criminal cases. The possibilities are numerous and diverse. One of those we frequently assert is a “Miranda rights violation.” In Arizona, the standard of whether any incriminating statement (i.e., a statement which tends to admit guilt) is admissible into evidence is based upon a “voluntariness” standard. If we can demonstrate that the police coerced you (i.e., intimidated or tricked you) into making a confession or inculpatory statement, or that they did not properly read you your Miranda Rights, then we can suppress those statements and any evidence gathered as a direct result of those statements. In addition, the “denial of right to Counsel” is another common defense which is often raised. This occurs when a suspect is in custody and requests to speak to their attorney, but is denied and questioning continues. Other defenses may include challenging the validity of any search warrant, or whether there were any “forensic flaws” during the investigation of your case. Depending on what else you have been charged with, this could include exposing flawed procedures regarding fingerprints analysis; DNA testing; computer analysis/cloning hard drive procedures; forensic financial accounting reviews; etc.. Lastly, one of the most common defense tactics is exposing sloppy or misleading police reports which include everything from misstatements, false statements, flawed photo line-ups, persuasive and misleading witness identification procedures, and inaccurate crime scene reconstruction. It is important to hire a skilled Theft lawyer to defend you who has knowledge of all the possible defenses to assert in your case.  Be sure to review our Theft case victories and compare them with other lawyers in Phoenix.

If you have not been charged with
Theft A.R.S. §13-1802 yet, but are in the
“pre-charge investigation stage” – Click Here Now

It is important to hire an AV® rated law firm (the highest possible rating by Martindale Hubbell®). Also David Michael Cantor is a Phoenix Theft Attorney and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. In addition, the Firm and all of its lawyers are listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®. At the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor, P.C., the majority of our Attorneys are ex-Prosecutors, and all of our Phoenix Theft Attorneys know the system well. For a Free Initial Consultation, call us at 602-307-0808.

Contact The Law Offices of David Michael Cantor and speak to a Phoenix Theft Attorney. We will assist you with your Theft case.

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