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Photo Of Kyle B. Sawyer

Charged With A Crime? It Doesn’t Mean You’re Guilty.

Misdemeanor Theft In Colorado

Denver, Colorado, Misdemeanor Theft Lawyers

As detailed in our theft page, thefts are usually charged two different ways: felonies and misdemeanors. Misdemeanors can result in a sentence to the county jail for up to two years, while felony thefts involve sentencing to the Department of Corrections. Some minor theft cases, like shoplifting of items less than $100 in value, are charged in a city court, like the Denver Municipal Court. Jail sentences on first-time offenses are unusual on misdemeanor theft charges, and the majority of our clients found guilty of a Colorado theft crime end up on probation. Courts seem to recognize that nonviolent and non-sex cases of Colorado theft present a low risk of harm to the community, so probation is favored. Judges consider stranger theft less serious than employer or “trusted position” thefts. As a result, judges do not generally impose jail on first offenses. The Colorado criminal justice system is starting to realize there are limitations on how many people it can afford to incarcerate, and as a result, priorities are emerging. Probation for persons convicted of theft in Colorado permits a person to remain free while reporting in to a probation officer at regular intervals.

Innocent Or Overcharged?

Our Colorado criminal defense lawyers find that many of our clients are falsely accused or are overcharged. Alleged victims make up stories to punish their “ex” after a break up, or neighbors want to get revenge and call the police with a false allegation. In each of these instances, our full-time criminal defense attorneys will evaluate what evidence the police possess, and additional evidence the police have ignored that will help us prove your innocence. It is always best for the accused to remain silent, so theories of defense can be evaluated and used. We work closely with an experienced investigator who cares for our clients like we do. Our full-time criminal defense attorneys interview potential witnesses if they are friendly to our client. If not, our investigator will speak with them. Often, the lawyer you work with at our office will go and view the scene of the alleged crime so a more accurate defense can be illustrated for a jury. Our team, consisting of a paralegal, an investigator, expert witnesses, therapists, and your criminal defense lawyer, works together to defend you.

Misdemeanor Theft Is Still Serious On Your Criminal History

Most Colorado felony thefts under C.R.S. 18-4-401 in Denver County and other Colorado counties result from minor property thefts from strangers or shoplifting. Under Colorado law, as long as the item or item’s value is less than $2,000, the case will be charged as a petty offense or misdemeanor. Anything over this amount, will be charged as a felony. Here is the specific breakdown of petty and misdemeanor theft in Colorado, based on the cumulative value of items taken:

  • Petty offense if less than $300
  • Class 2 misdemeanor if $300 – $999
  • Class 1 misdemeanor if $1,000 – $1,999

While jail is unlikely for first-time theft crimes under C.R.S. 18-4-401, it is important that our clients consider how their criminal history record will reflect any plea or finding of guilt. In our competitive job market, even a misdemeanor theft charge will make it difficult to find employment. Most employers are trending toward background checks on potential employees. This is why it is critical you talk with an experienced Colorado lawyer about sealable offenses and deferred judgments. Arrangements made with the District Attorney and court can impact your future for a lifetime.

Common Sentence Components In Colorado Misdemeanor Theft Cases

In Denver, Douglas, Arapahoe, Jefferson, Adams and other Colorado counties, jail is not the only component to a court sentence. Fines and costs can amount to several hundred dollars. Probation involves regular appointments with a probation officer and the payment of $50 per month in supervision fees. Restitution includes all damages to a victim, and is broadly interpreted. Community service involves volunteer hours a defendant must complete at a nonprofit organization to give back to the community. Finally, classes are often ordered by the court. If there are substance abuse issues, like alcohol, that contributed to the theft, treatment will be ordered. If mental health problems are present, the court will want an evaluation and treatment. The idea is to address underlying factors that contributed to the theft, so that the crime does not recur.

Our Approach – Our Experience

Our Colorado criminal defense attorneys have defended hundreds of people like you from theft charges in Denver County, Jefferson County, Arapahoe County, Grand County, Douglas County, Weld County and other Colorado counties. Our case results are strong evidence of our ability to protect you. We take an aggressive approach to require strict proof of any theft allegations. We confidently approach judges and district attorneys to protect your rights. We find real solutions to guard your criminal record and your future employment. In short, we are there for you. Come to our office for a free consultation and learn about your charges and options. You will leave our office much more informed in subjects affecting your life.

If you have been contacted by a Colorado police officer or your employer, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.

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