Expert Attorneys in Littleton, Jefferson County, or Colorado, Ready to Represent You
If you have been accused of theft, you have the right to fight the charges. An experienced attorney can help. At Pearson & Paris, P.C., we have more than 50 years of combined legal experience that we will use in your defense. Perhaps more importantly, our top criminal defense attorney is a former senior prosecutor who knows how district attorneys handle these cases. That knowledge allows us to create effective strategies ranging from negotiation to courtroom battles.
Call us at 303-872-4719 in the greater Denver area or toll free at 888-725-2609 across Colorado for a free initial consultation. You can also contact us online.
Whether in the Denver area, or anywhere in Colorado, theft occurs where a person knowingly takes the property of another without authorization, or by threat or deception, and (1) intends to deprive the other person permanently of the use and benefit of the thing of value; (2) knowingly uses, conceals, or abandons the thing of value in such manner as to deprive the other person permanently of its use and benefit; (3) uses, conceals, abandons the thing of value intending that such use, concealment, or abandonment will deprive the other person permanently of its use and benefit.
Possible consequences for theft
Theft is a class 3 felony if the thing of value subject of the theft is twenty thousand dollars ($20,000.00) or more. Sentencing for a class 3 felony includes: (1) probation, with a possible jail sentence as a condition of probation of up to ninety (90) days, or up to a two (2) year work release sentence as a condition of probation, or (2) a sentence to the department of corrections of four (4) to twelve (12) years, but as much as twenty-four (24) years if the court finds the presence of exceptional circumstances, with a mandatory parole period of five (5) years.
Theft is a class 4 felony if the thing of value subject of the theft is one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or more but less than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000.00). Sentencing for a class 4 felony includes: (1) probation, with a possible jail sentence as a condition of probation of up to ninety (90) days, or up to a two (2) year work release sentence as a condition of probation, or (2) a sentence to the department of corrections of two (2) to six (6) years, but as much as twelve (12) years if the court finds the presence of exceptional circumstances, with a mandatory parole period of three (3) years.
Theft is a misdemeanor where the thing of value subject of the theft is less than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) and may be sentenced to: (1) probation, with a possible jail sentence as a condition of probation of up to sixty (60) days, or up to a two (2) year work release sentence as a condition of probation, or jail sentence of up to eighteen (18) months, or only as much as one (1) year where the value subject of the theft is less than five hundred dollars ($500).
Possible Defenses for theft
One of the most often seen defenses to theft is "consent". This will occur when two (2) people have an agreement or an understanding regarding the use of a piece of property, money, or a credit card. Then when the relationship goes bad, one person may simply accuse the Defendant of some type of "Theft". This is often seen in situations involving roommates, boyfriends and girlfriends, spouses and business partners. Other times "Consent" is seen where one person loans another person money and they are told "pay me back by the 15th, or I will hold on to your motorcycle until you pay me". The other person then states "no problem," and when they cannot pay the person back, they are then surprised to see that their motorcycle has actually been taken as collateral. It is important to interview all people who may have been witnesses to the "Consent" in order to demonstrate to the Prosecutor that this is not a true theft.
Another common defense for Theft is "Mistake of Fact". This occurs when one person takes property they believe to belong to another person (who has given them consent), when in fact, the property belongs to an entirely different person. This can often happen with multiple roommates setting (such as dorm room or fraternity houses). Again, it is important to interview all parties involved to discover what actually occurred. Lastly, we have seen situations where a person is merely "borrowing" an item from a neighbor or acquaintance and this is misconstrued as an attempt to "permanently deprive" the other person of their property. An obvious example is one neighbor borrowing their other neighbor's lawnmower to use for a couple of hours.
The remaining defenses that may be applied in a theft case apply with equal force to those that may apply in any other criminal case. This includes an analysis of any violation of constitutional rights, such as the right to remain silent, the right to counsel, the right to have any searches and seizures bases on probable cause, a proper warrant, and the right to due process in the proper preservation of evidence that may be used against you. There are many other defenses that are available that rely on scrutinizing and exposing weaknesses in the prosecutor's case, such as: biased or incompetent witnesses, flawed crime scene investigation, flawed administration and procedures in collecting breath, blood, or urine for forensic testing, incompetent computer evidence, flawed photo line-ups, and inaccurate crime scene / accident reconstructions.
It is important that you hire a skilled and experienced theft lawyer to defend you in a theft case in Littleton, Jefferson County, or across Colorado.
Call us at 303-872-4719 in the greater Denver area or toll free across Colorado at 888-725-2609 for a free initial consultation. You can also contact us online.