In Arizona, a person’s right to his or her own property is sacrosanct. If you have been accused of a theft crime, you are facing serious penalties that will disrupt your life in ways that will follow you for years to come. You are understandably anxious and fearful for how your conviction will affect your family and your prospects for the future.
The value of the property in question will determine the severity of the penalties; theft crimes can be misdemeanors or felonies. When the property allegedly stolen is valued at less than $1000, your charge will likely be petty theft, a misdemeanor; over $1000 it will be charged as grand theft, which is a felony.
Some theft crimes are prosecuted in federal courts, including bank robbery, securities fraud, identity theft, and theft of intellectual property.
Theft may take many forms:
- Obtaining control of someone else’s property intending to deprive that person of the property;
- Using property or services of another person without that person’s permission or for an unauthorized amount of time;
- Taking another person’s property or services through fraud;
- Keeping lost property you found without trying to find the rightful owner;
- Receiving stolen property or having stolen property in your possession;
- Obtaining services from someone without paying or making an arrangement to pay for the services.
Many factors play a role in theft charges, which is why you want an experienced Phoenix theft crime attorney on your side early on as possible.
Defending against Theft Charges in Arizona
Just because you’ve been charged with a theft crime doesn’t mean you’ll be convicted. Everyone accused of a crime is entitled to a lawyer. There are defenses available, and when you have an experienced criminal law specialist who thoroughly understands the Arizona criminal statutes, you will have many more defense options than if you try to face the charges alone, with a public defender, or with another lawyer who is not board certified.
Who to Call When You’ve Been Accused of Theft in Phoenix
If police have tried to question you, and you think you’re about to be arrested, or if the arrest has already taken place, you need an attorney immediately. Don’t answer any questions or engage in conversation about the alleged theft crime with the police, and let them know you will exercise your constitutional right to remain silent until you attorney is present.
In Phoenix, for representation by a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist, call the law offices of Howard A. Snader, LLC, 24 hours a day. Howard has earned the respect of clients and other legal professionals for his success in obtaining dismissals, acquittals, reduced charges, and minimal sentences for those he represents. He will conduct a careful investigation to determine if the police followed proper procedure in obtaining evidence, and if your rights were upheld before, during, and after the arrest. He will also work to identify the best defense, which will depend on the circumstances surrounding the accusation.
Potential Defenses to Theft
Possible defenses include these, among others:
- You lacked the intent to permanently deprive the person of the property, for example if you were borrowing it;
- You believed the property to be rightfully yours;
- You believed in good faith that you had been authorized to use the property;
- You did not know that the property in your possession had been stolen by someone else.
Call the Snader Law Firm today for your best chance at an outcome that will preserve your freedom and your future well being. There is no charge for the first consultation, and we’ll work out a payment schedule you can afford.