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MESA PHOENIX THEFT DEFENSE ATTORNEY

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A.R.S. § 13-1802 lists several different ways to commit theft if, without lawful authority, the person knowingly does one of the following:

 

  • Controls property of another intending to deprive the other person of the property;

 

  • Converts for an unauthorized term or use services or property of another entrusted to the defendant or placed in the defendant's possession for a limited, authorized term or use;

 

  • Obtains services or property of another by means of any material misrepresentation intending to deprive the other person of such property or services;

 

  • Comes into control of lost, mislaid or misdelivered property of another under circumstances providing means of inquiry as to the true owner and appropriates the property to the person's own or another's use without reasonable efforts to notify the true owner;

“Just because the State says it’s theft of property or services  doesn’t mean that it is.”

  Lisa Witt

  • Controls property of another knowing or having reason to know that the property was stolen;

 

  • Obtains services known to the defendant to be available only for compensation without paying or an agreement to pay the compensation or diverts another's services to the person's own or another's benefit without authority to do so;

 

  • Controls the ferrous metal or nonferrous metal of another with the intent to deprive the other person of the metal;

 

  • Controls the ferrous metal of another knowing or having reason to know that the metal was stolen;

 

  • Purchases within the scope of the ordinary course of business the ferrous metal or nonferrous metal of another person knowing that the metal was stolen;

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  • Taking control, title, use or management of a vulnerable adult's property without lawful authority and while acting in a position of trust and confidence and with the intent to deprive the vulnerable adult of the property. There are affirmative defenses concerning gift giving and superior court approval that are available.

“What don’t you understand about “beyond a reasonable doubt”?”  Lisa Witt

Theft of property or services valued at less than $1,000.00 is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by 6 months in jail unless the property is taken from the person of another, is a firearm, or an animal taken for the purpose of animal fighting in which case the theft is a Class 6 felony punishable by .33 years to 2 years in prison for a first time felony offense.  Theft of property or services valued between $1,000.00 but less than $2,000.00 is a Class 6 felony punishable by .33 years to 2 years in prison for a first time felony offense.  Theft of property or services valued between $2,000.00 but less than $3,000.00 is a Class 5 felony punishable by .5 years to 2.5 years in prison for a first time felony offense.  Theft of property or services valued at $3,000.00 but less than $4,000.00 is a Class 4 felony punishable by 1 to 3.75 years in prison for a first time felony offense except that theft of any vehicle engine or transmission is a Class 4 felony punishable by 1 to 3.75 years for a first time felony offense regardless of value.  Theft of property or services valued at $4,000.00 or more but less than $25,000.00 is a Class 3 felony punishable by 2 to 8.75 years in prison for a first time felony offense.  Theft of property or services with a value of $25,000.00 or more is a Class 2 felony punishable by 3 to 12.5 years in prison.  A person who is convicted of controlling property of another intending to deprive the other person of the property or obtaining services or property of another by means of any material misrepresentation intending to deprive the other person of such property or services with a value of $100,000.00 must basically serve his or her full sentence.   

   

Other forms of theft are:  unlawful use of means of transportation; theft by extortion; unlawful failure to return rented or leased property; issuing a bad check; unlawful failure to return a motor vehicle subject to a security interest; theft of means of transportation; unlawful use of power of attorney; unlawful use, possession or removal of theft detection shielding devices; unlawful possession, use or alteration of a retail sales receipt or universal product code label; unlawful use of power of attorney; and misappropriation of charter school monies.  The penalties for these forms of theft are specified in each Arizona statute which describes it.

DEFENSES FOR THEFT CHARGES IN ARIZONA

A conviction for theft is very serious.  Lisa will thoroughly evaluate your case and determine if one or more of the following potential defense strategies apply:

 

  • Act described is not theft:  The act described in the indictment may not fit the statutory definition of theft.

 

  • Statutory affirmative defenses concerning a vulnerable adult apply:  You may have an affirmative defense of gift giving or Superior Court approval to a charge of theft of a vulnerable adult.

 

  • Value of the property is less than the State alleges:  The value of the property taken may be less than the State alleges.

 

  • Eyewitnesses:  You may have eyewitnesses who can testify about what happened.

 

  • Good character:  You may have witnesses who can testify that you have a good character.

 

  • Alibi:  You may have been out of state, working, or with other people during the times alleged in the indictment.

 

  • Mistaken identity:  Someone else committed the theft and you were mistakenly identified as the suspect.

 

  • Bad character of victim:  The victim may have a mental illness, drug problem, alcohol problem, or other problems which leads him or her to make false accusations of theft against you.

 

  • Bad acts of victim:  The victim may have falsely accused someone else of theft or may have a reputation for lying.

 

  • Implausibility of victim’s story:  The victim’s story may be implausible based on the timeline or other evidence.

 

  • Sentencing enhancements do not apply:  Sentencing enhancements such as dangerous nature of the offense, repetitive nature of the offense and/or crime committed while on probation or release do not necessarily apply just because the State claims that they do. 

 

  • Missing or tainted evidence:  Sometimes the State’s evidence is missing or tainted. 

 

  • Suppression of State’s evidence:  The State may have violated your constitutional rights or otherwise acted illegally in obtaining evidence or your confession so that the evidence must be suppressed.

 

  • Insufficiency of State’s evidence:  The State may have insufficient evidence to prove theft beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

  • Reduction in number of counts: Each count of your indictment should concern a separate criminal act or victim and not be parts of the same theft. 

 

  • Police misconduct:  There may be police misconduct in investigating the charge, collecting the evidence, interviewing the victim and witnesses, or obtaining your confession.

 

  • Prosecutorial misconduct:  There may be prosecutorial misconduct in disclosing the evidence, interviewing victims and witnesses, and in the general course of your case.

 

  • Possible other defenses:  Depending on the unique facts of your case, there may be other possible defenses.  Lisa thinks outside the box when defending your case so she may come up with a novel defense that no other attorney has thought of before.

 

If you or a loved one is facing a theft charge, it’s very important to hire a thorough and passionate defense attorney who will fight for you as soon as possible.  Call LisaLaw, LLC or fill out the on-line form for a free case review.

Lisa Witt is a Mesa/Phoenix, Arizona theft defense attorney serving clients facing charges in the East Valley, West Valley, Maricopa County, Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, Queen Creek, Gilbert, Casa Grande, Surprise, Goodyear, Buckeye, Youngtown, Ahwatukee, Avondale, Tolleson.

 
Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer