Theft Crimes Defense

There are several types of theft crimes a person can be charged with in Colorado. The exact charge will depend on the circumstances of a case, but all types of theft convictions can haveserious and long-lasting impact on a person’s life.

To protect your rights and give you the best possible chance at minimizing the impact of a theft charge, it is important that you speak with one of the skilled and experienced defense attorneys at Decker & Jones as soon as possible.

Theft

A person can be charged with theft if they obtain or exercise control over anything of value that belongs to another person and they were not authorized to do so, or they obtained that property by threat or deception.

Theft may also take place if it can be proven:

  • That there is intent to permanently deprive another person of the item.
  • If a person uses, conceals or abandons an item so as to deprive another person permanently of the item.
  • There is a demand for compensation that a person is not legally entitled to as a condition for returning the item.

Theft charges can be filed as a class 3 or 4 felony, or a class 1 or 2 misdemeanor.

Theft of Rental Property

If a person obtains a rental property through threat, deception or without the consent of the property’s custodian, they can be charged with the theft of a rental property. A charge can also be filed if an individual originally and lawfully rented a property but fails to return it within 72 hours of when the property was to be returned.
Theft of rental property charges can be filed as a class 3 or 5 felony, or a class 1 or 2 misdemeanor.

Theft of Trade Secrets

A person can be charged with theft of trade secrets if they deprive or withholda trade secret from its owner, or they steal, disclose or replicate that trade secret to an unauthorized person without the authority to do so.

Theft of a trade secret is charged as a class 1 misdemeanor. Subsequent offenses within five years after the date of a prior conviction are charged as a class 5 felony.

Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft

Aggravated motor vehicle theft is one of the most serious types of theft charges and requires immediate legal assistance.

A person can be charged with aggravated motor vehicle theft if they obtain or exercises control over the motor vehicle of another without authorization, or by threat or deception.

Aggravated motor vehicle theft can also be charged if a person:

  • Retains possession or control of the motor vehicle for more than 24 hours
  • Attempts or successfully alters or disguises the appearance of the motor vehicle
  • Attempts or successfully alters or removes the vehicle identification number
  • Uses the motor vehicle in the commission of a crime other than a traffic offense
  • Causes $500 or more in property damage in the course of obtaining control after they are in control of the motor vehicle
  • Causes bodily injury to another person while in control of the motor vehicle
  • Removes the motor vehicle from Colorado for more than 12 hours
  • Attaches or displays motor vehicle license plates other than those officially issued for the motor vehicle

Aggravated motor vehicle theft can be charged as a class 3, 4, 5 or 6 felony, or a class 1 misdemeanor.

Theft by Receiving

When a person receives, retains, loans money on, or disposes of anything of value of another, knowing or believing the item has been stolen, and intending to deprive the lawful owner permanently of the item, that person can be charged with theft by receiving.

Theft by receiving can be charged as a class 3 or 4felony, or a class 1 or 2 misdemeanor.

Theft Detection Devices

A theft of detection device crimetakes place when an individual manufactures, distributes, or sells a theft detection shielding device or a theft detection deactivating device knowing another person intends to use the device in the commission of a theft.

A person can also be charged with a theft detection device crime if the individual possesses a theft detection shielding device or a theft detection deactivating device with the intent that the device be used in the commission of a theft.

In addition, charges may be filed if a person deactivates or removes a theft detection device or a component in any store without authorization prior to purchase.

Offenses involving theft detection devices are class 1 misdemeanors.

Fuel Piracy

A person can be charged with fuel piracy if they leave a gas station or other fuel-selling premises without paying for their fuel.

Fuel piracy is a class 3 misdemeanor if the value of fuel is less than $100. It rises to a class 2 misdemeanor if the value of fuel is more than $100 but less than $500.

Theft of Public Transportation Services by Fare Evasion

Depending on the circumstances of the case, a person can be charged with theft of public transportation services by fare evasion.

If a person occupies, rides in, or uses public transportation without paying the applicable fare, they can be charged with the theft of public transportation services by fare evasion.

Violations are considered a class 2 petty offense and punishable by a fine not to exceed $100.

Identity Theft

A person can be charged with identity theft if they commit any of the following acts:

  • Use of the personal or financial identifying information, or financial device of another without permission with the intent to obtain anything of value.
  • Possession ofthe personal or financial identifying information, or financial device of another without permission or lawful authority, with the intent to use such information or device to obtain anything of value.
  • If there isintent to defraud, falsely make, complete, alter a written instrument or financial device containing any personal identifying information or financial identifying information of another.
  • Possession of the personal or financial identifying information of another without permission to use it in applying for or completing an application for a financial device or other extension of credit.
  • Possession of the personal identifying information of another without permission with the intent to obtain a government-issued document.

Identity theft is a class 4 felony.

Aggravated Robbery

Being charged with an aggravated robbery is a serious crime and will require an immediate and considerable legal defense effort.

A person can be charged with aggravated robbery if during the actual commission of the crime or immediately following the crime:

  • The person is armed with a deadly weapon and has the intent, if resisted, to kill, maim, or wound another person
  • The person wounds or strikes a victim who is being robbed or any other person, with a deadly weapon or by the use of force, threats, or intimidation with a deadly weapon, or puts the person robbed or any other person in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury
  • Has an accomplice present who is armed with a deadly weapon, who possesses the intent, if resistance is encountered, to kill, maim, or wound the person robbed or any other person, or by the use of force, threats, or intimidation who puts the person robbed or any other person in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury
  • Possesses any article used or fashioned in a manner to lead any person who is present reasonably to believe it to be a deadly weapon or represents verbally or otherwise that he is so armed

Aggravated robbery is charged as a class 3 felony and is an extraordinary risk crime subject to an enhanced presumptive sentencing range.

Aggravated Robbery of Controlled Substances

Aggravated robbery of controlled substances is another exceptionally serious crime that will also require an immediate and considerable legal defense effort.

A person can be charged with aggravated robbery of controlled substances if theytake any controlled substance from a pharmacy or other place or person who may legally have possession of the controlled substance, or if they steal a controlled substance during a burglary.

Aggravated robbery of controlled substances is a class 2 felony.

All types of theft charges are serious to one degree or another. To give yourself the best possible chance of preserving your freedom and protecting your rights, it is essential that you talk to one of the experienced defense attorneys at Decker & Jones as soon as you are charged or if you believe you may be charged with a theft crime.