Getting arrested for DUI does not mean you will be convicted. Police misconduct, defective breathalyzers and crime lab mistakes may be enough to get your charges lessened or dismissed. Visit our page on Colorado DUI Laws to learn more.
Under 18-4-401 (2)(b) CRS, Colorado law defines the crime of petty theft or petty larceny as intentionally stealing property valued at less than $300.00. This crime is a petty offense that can be punished by up to 10 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $300 as well as a court order to make victim restitution payments.
Examples of petty larceny offenses may include:
It may be possible to negotiate the criminal charge down to a lesser petty offense or even a full dismissal as part of a Colorado plea deal. Common petty theft defenses include:
To help you better understand Colorado’s petty larceny law, our Denver Colorado criminal defense lawyers discuss the following, below:
People commit petty theft of property in violation of section 18-4-401 of the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.) when they intentionally and unlawfully take property worth less than $300 that does not belong to them. Petty theft can take several forms, such as:
Note that people can be convicted of theft if they take property that they co-own, and they fail to get the co-owners’ authorization.1
Theft is a Colorado petty offense if the value of the item(s) is less than three hundred dollars ($300). In addition to restitution to the victim, consequences of Colorado petty offense theft can include a maximum penalty of:
If a person allegedly commits multiple theft crimes within a six (6)-month period, they may be aggregated into a single count of theft. In such a case, the value for purposes of sentencing is the aggregate value of all the items allegedly taken.3
Note that the judge (or jury) ultimately determines the stolen items’ value using a reasonable basis, such as standard market value.4
Also note it is automatically a Colorado felony to pick-pocket or to steal from a disabled or elderly person, even if the stolen items are worth less than $300.5 Learn more about Colorado felony theft laws.
Attempted petty theft is charged the same way as petty theft: A petty offense carrying up to 10 days in jail and/or up to $300 in fines.6
Theft of anything worth at least $300 but less than $2,000 is a Colorado misdemeanor. Consequences of misdemeanor theft range from:
Theft of anything worth $2,000 or more is a felony. Depending on the value of the item(s), Colorado felony theft can be punished by:
The best defense to Colorado theft charges will depend on the facts of the case and the type of property allegedly stolen. However, common defenses to petty theft often include:
Even though petty larceny is a minor offense, it still looks bad on criminal records. Therefore, anyone facing these charges is advised to hire an attorney to try to fight for a dismissal.
It is not possible for a person to steal something that belongs only to him/her. Typical evidence that can prove ownership may include:
If the defense attorney can demonstrate that the defendant was the only owner of the property allegedly taken, the larceny charges should be dismissed.
Larceny is an intent offense in Colorado.7 Because of this, defendants are not guilty of theft if they genuinely did not know they took another person’s property:
Example: Haley is listening to her iPhone while shopping for lipstick. She is so engrossed in the music that she absentmindedly walks out of the store without paying. Of course Haley owes the store the price of the lipstick, but she should not be convicted of larceny. Since she genuinely forgot to pay because her mind was somewhere else, she committed no crime.
In every criminal case, the D.A. has the burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Intent to steal is often hard for prosecutors to prove precisely because it requires getting inside of the defendant’s head.
The Fourth Amendment is very clear that the police may not conduct searches without a search warrant — or without a good reason to forego getting a warrant. Whenever the police may have committed an illegal search, the defense attorney can file a motion to suppress evidence in Colorado:
This motion argues to the court that the police’s misconduct tainted the evidence they found. If the court grants the motion and disregards the evidence, then the prosecution may lose the case due to insufficient evidence.
Colorado has a number of crimes that are often charged along with theft. In many cases, a defendant can be punished for both theft and these related crimes:
In particular, defense attorneys often see theft charged with robbery — when items are taken directly from an alleged victim, and/or burglary — when someone is charged with breaking into a building or automobile for the purpose of stealing something.
Have you been accused of a crime? Our Colorado criminal defense attorneys see clients as more than just a list of charges. Every client has a name; every client has a story. Our law firm is here to see to it that the prosecutor and, if necessary, the jury know your side.
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