When Can You be Imprisoned for Theft in Arizona?


Theft offenses are classified as property crimes. Although property crimes cause less alarm in communities than crimes of violence, a theft offense may be charged as a felony in Arizona. You can be imprisoned for a theft offense.

The basic definition of a theft crime the intentional taking of personal property belonging to another party without consent or a legal right to do so.

If you pick up another person’s briefcase believing it’s yours, you have not committed an offense because you lacked intent.

Jailed for theft in Arizona

When you can be imprisoned for theft in Arizona

Arizona has crimes of misdemeanor theft and felony theft on its statute books. The seriousness of the offense is linked to the value of the property stolen.

Under Arizona’s statutes, theft charges are brought as misdemeanors unless the value of the property stolen exceeds $1,000.

There are some exceptions to the rule, namely the theft of a firearm and an animal. Theft of a means of transportation is charged as a Class 3 felony.

Charges for the theft of an animal or gun are brought as a felony, even if the dollar value is less than $1,000.

If you have been charged with felony theft, there are six different categories. They are:

Class 6 Felony Thefts

If the value of the stolen  property or services was at least $1,000, but under $2,000, the offense will be charged as a class 6 felony carrying a potential prison sentence of 4 months to two years and a fine up to $150,000.

Class 5 Felony Thefts

Class 5 felony theft entail the larceny of goods or services valued from $2,000 to $3,000. This level of felony theft is punishable by a prison term of at least 6 months up to a maximum of 2.5 years, and a potential fine of up to $150,000.

Class 4 Felony Thefts

Stealing property or services valued from $3,000 to $4,000 in Arizona is classified as a Class 4 felony theft. This also applies to the larceny of a vehicle engine or a transmission.

Shoplifting may be a Class 4 felony under Arizona law when the defendant has two or more previous convictions that involved shoplifting, burglary, robbery, or theft within the previous five years. A class 4 felony theft carries a prison sentence ranging from one year to 3.75 years, and a fine of up to $150,000.

Class 3 Felony Thefts

Theft may be charged as a Class 3 felony when the value of the goods or services stolen is at least $4,000 but no greater than $25,000. The potential prison sentence rises markedly if a theft is a Class 3 felony. A conviction can lead to a prison term of two to 8.75 years and a fine of no greater than $150,000.

Class 2 Felony Thefts

When goods or services with a value over $25,000 are taken, the crime is charged as a Class 2 felony. Under Arizona law, this carries a potential prison sentence ranging from a minimum of three years to a maximum of 12.5 years, as well as a fine of up to $150,000.

A theft offense can be a serious matter in Arizona when it’s charged as a felony. The state also has civil penalties for theft which involve compensation being paid to victims.

If you or a family member has been accused of a theft crime, you should call an experienced Arizona theft defense attorney as soon as possible. Often people with a history of mental illness are wrongly accused of theft. Contact us at (602) 340-1999.


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