The main difference between Misdemeanor Theft and Felony Theft charges is the dollar value of the amount stolen. The second difference is the penalties involved. The higher the dollar value of the stolen property or service, the more severe the penalties if convicted.
Under ARS § 13 – 1802 theft charges will be brought as Misdemeanors unless the market or dollar value of the property exceeds $1,000.00. Theft crimes involving items that exceed that amount will be brought as a felony.
The exception to this is if it is a firearm or an animal. Charges for theft of an animal or gun, will be charged as a felony, even if the dollar value is below $1,000.00,
Other factors are considered in charges being brought and sentencing. They include circumstances in the theft, and nature of the item stolen.
Misdemeanor Theft Penalties
First time petty theft misdemeanor theft offenders may qualify to participate in a theft counseling diversion program and probation in lieu of incarceration.
Class 1 Misdemeanor thefts are the most serious of Misdemeanor theft charges. If convicted, sentencing can include up to 6 months in jail, $2500.00 fines, fees, community service, restitution and other penalties deemed necessary.
Felony Theft Penalties
Sentencing for Class 6 Felony Theft charges, which are the least severe, may result in 6 months to 16 months in prison. Penalties for a Class 2 Felony Theft charges, which are the most severe, may result in 4 years to 10 years in prison, and fines of up to $150,000.00. Other sentencing could include fees, jail or prison costs and assessments, restitution, community service, and other penalties the court deems necessary.
Theft Defense Attorney Chandler AZ
If you face any type of theft charges, you should always consult a criminal attorney for defense, even for a first time offense. It is particularly in your best interest to work with a Chandler theft attorney who is especially experienced in Arizona misdemeanor and felony larceny cases. You can discuss your charges and defense options with them. If retained, they will protect your rights, defend your charges, and make every effort to help you avoid a harsh conviction and incarceration. There may be defenses you are not aware of that that can lead to a case dismissal, suppression of evidence, or reduction in charges and sentencing.