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Misdemeanor Theft Attorney
We are experienced criminal defense attorneys representing criminal defendants for misdemeanor crimes such as theft and/or shoplifting. The crime of theft can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. As a general rule, the value of the item(s) taken determines the severity of the offense although there are some notable exceptions.
For example, under Arizona law, theft of property that is valued at less than one thousand dollars is usually considered a misdemeanor. The most common exceptions to the valuation rule involve the theft of a firearm, a vehicle engine, or any vehicle transmission – the theft of any of these items is always considered to be a felony offense regardless of the value involved.
Why Hire a Misdemeanor Theft Defense Attorney?
The purpose for hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer for misdemeanor offenses like theft is:
If you are facing a charge of misdemeanor theft in the State of Arizona, chances are you have a lot of questions – questions about how the charge might affect your job opportunities, placement in higher education, and your reputation. You may want to fight the charge, or you might decide to plead guilty. Whatever the case, it’s important to understand that, while misdemeanor theft is a serious matter, a qualified attorney will help you to achieve the best outcome and mitigate the potential damages to your future.
The best way to approach a misdemeanor theft charge is by getting in touch with a Mesa criminal defense attorney or a law firm with experience representing individuals seeking criminal defense representation in Arizona. If you or a loved one has been charged with misdemeanor theft in Arizona, an Arizona theft crimes lawyer at Rowley Chapman & Barney, Ltd. can help. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients accused of misdemeanor theft and we can put our legal knowledge to work for you. Give us a call at 480-833-1113 or contact us online today.
What is Considered Misdemeanor Theft in Arizona?
According to Arizona’s Misdemeanor State Violations, theft is considered a property offense. The State of Arizona’s Revised Statutes consider misdemeanor theft “Theft of any property or services valued at less than one thousand dollars.” However, according to the statute, this applies:
…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 violation of section 13-2910.01, in which case the theft is a class 6 felony.
In other words, both the value of the stolen items and the type of items stolen make the difference between misdemeanor theft and a felony theft charge. Misdemeanor theft is a less serious offense than felony theft and results in consequences that are less severe in nature. However, any theft conviction on your record can have a negative impact, especially when applying for jobs.
What Are the Penalties for Misdemeanor Theft in Arizona?
Punishment for misdemeanor theft varies from case to case. For instance, a less serious misdemeanor theft offense might result in counseling, rehabilitation, and probation (which may include community service). The most serious misdemeanor theft charges are considered Class 1 misdemeanor offenses, and may result in fines of more than $2,000 and the potential for up to six months of jail time. First-time offenders are typically treated less severely by the law than those who have been charged previously with misdemeanor theft.
However, this does not mean that misdemeanor theft isn’t a serious matter: restitution, penalties, and other consequences may apply, and the charges may be reflected in your criminal record. It is advisable to seek help with your defense, as ignoring it, refusing to show up for court, or violating any of the provisions of your sentencing can often result in significant criminal penalties.
How Can I Fight a Misdemeanor Theft Charge?
You may want to fight a misdemeanor theft charge in court for a number of reasons. If you did not actually commit a misdemeanor, if you believe the consequences for your charge are too severe, or if you believe that the legal system may offer you some leniency, it’s advisable that you contact an attorney. Contesting a charge in court may offer you the best solution, and a qualified criminal defense attorney in Mesa will be able to represent your best interests in a court of law.
Criminal Defense of Theft Charges in Arizona
A misdemeanor theft charge likely leaves you with many unanswered questions. The good news is, an experienced law firm will look out for you and represent your interests. Rowley Chapman & Barney, Ltd. can help defendants facing all types of theft charges. Call today at (480) 833-2341.