Theft charges can be serious and have a negative impact on the accused's future in a number of ways. In Arizona, if the theft involves property of a certain type or value, theft may be charged as a felony crime. Conviction for a felony comes with a strong possibility of prison time, probation, and/or large restitution awards. If you have been charged with felony theft, you will need an experienced, effective Phoenix criminal defense lawyer.
I am attorney Cary L. Lackey, and my criminal defense practice is my primary focus. I have more than 17 years of experience in the field, and my work in criminal law, familiarity with the system and local knowledge make me a clear choice to represent clients faced with serious criminal charges such as felony theft.
I provide aggressive, effective criminal defense strategies for clients facing felony charges for aggravated assault, theft, DUI and more. You can reach me at The Law Office of Cary L. Lackey, P.C., by calling 602-288-2303 or contacting me online.
When a Theft Charge Becomes a Felony
Theft can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Theft as a felony occurs when the value or dollar amount of stolen property exceeds an amount defined by law. In addition, certain classes of property such as firearms will elevate the level of the offense. Theft crimes in Arizona will be charged as felonies if the stolen property is:
- Equal to or more than $1,000.00 in value
- A firearm
Arizona Felony Theft Penalties
Arizona has six classes of felony offenses, with a class 2 felony being the most serious and a class 6 the least. Do not let the "least serious" tag fool you, however. Convicted felons face more obstacles than just jail time, including difficulties in post-incarceration life such as difficulty finding employment and loss of certain rights, such as holding office, voting or even owning a firearm.
The penalties for felony theft are at the discretion of the judge, but in a general way may be viewed like this:
- Class 6: Value of the property taken is between $1,000 and $2,000, punishable by up to 2 years in prison.
- Class 5: Value of the property taken is between $2,000 and $3,000, punishable by up to 2.5 years in prison.
- Class 4: Value is between $3,000 and $4,000, punishable by up to 3.75 years in prison.
- Class 3: Value of the item taken is between $4,000 and $25,000, maximum punishment of 8.75 years in prison.
- Class 2: Value of the stolen property is greater than $25,000, maximum sentence of 12.5 years.
- In addition, if you are convicted of a theft where the property value is greater than $100,000, you will not be eligible for probation and a prison term is mandatory.
Defense Strategies in Felony Theft Cases
Challenging the specified value or dollar amount of stolen property in a felony theft case is a critical part of any defense strategy. Since the level of offense depends on the value of the property, it is imperative that the property be properly assessed. With more than 15 years of experience in criminal law, I will be able to provide you with the knowledge and experience necessary to get a favorable valuation whenever possible.
I have worked as a public defender, as a staff attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, as an associate attorney in a prominent Phoenix law firm and in the Maricopa County Attorney's Office. I know how to develop a strong defense strategy against felony charges, while focusing on mitigating any potential penalties.
Contact My Maricopa County Criminal Defense Law Firm Today
Felony theft charges can lead to serious jail time and fines, not to mention the lasting effects of living as a convicted felon. Do not leave the planning of your defense to someone without experience representing clients at all levels of the criminal justice system. Call The Law Office of Cary L. Lackey, P.C., at 602-288-2303 or contact me online.