There is a lot of confusion over what constitutes theft (formerly called larceny) in Colorado. As experts in the field, we can help you understand the definition of theft, what types of theft exist, and the criminal punishment for larceny offenses.
Theft (formerly Larceny) Definition | Unlawful Taking of Someone Else’s Property
In terms of criminal law, theft is considered the felonious removal of money or property that belongs to someone else. Theft is different from robbery because it involves using force or threats against the victim, whereas theft doesn’t. An example of theft would be a bank employee embezzling funds from their place of employment.
Any time a person is trying to take another person’s property, theft could be occurring. It also includes the taking of property through pretenses or outright fraud.
Types of Theft
Today, various criminal codes define the level of theft so it can be classified. It would either be considered petty theft or grand theft. With these codes, the property is stolen and theft is charged when the intent was to deprive a person of their belongings by taking it or withholding it from the rightful owner.
In Colorado, grand theft can be charged as a felony, based on the property’s situation and value. Petty theft is always a misdemeanor.
Transfer of Ownership | When Theft Does Not Apply
For theft to occur, the property must belong to someone else. If it belongs to the individual that is taking it, there is no crime committed, even if the property is in possession of someone else when it is taken. A good example is if a neighbor takes back the lawn mower that was loaned to the person living next door. However, there could be charges for going on someone’s property to get that lawn mower.
Additionally, if people co-own any property, it’s still possible to commit theft, especially if one of the co-owners is denied their right to get the property. One example of this would be if roommates purchased a TV together and one roommate moves away with the TV without consent. This example would be theft.
If someone tries to steal property and the owner consents to a transfer of ownership, no theft has occurred. It is, however, a crime if the owner transfers the parcel because of fraud or deceit.
Degrees of Theft
Colorado defines theft as either petty or grand, based on the stolen item’s value. Petty theft refers to items of a lower value, while grand theft occurs with higher-dollar items. Additionally, some grand thefts can be felonies.
The Punishment for A Single Theft
When criminal prosecution comes around for theft, the court will look at how many have occurred. If it is the defendant’s first time, there will likely be leniency. Additionally, if multiple items are taken from one person simultaneously, the event counts as one theft, but in some cases, it will be charged as numerous thefts.
The court will address the location and timing of the thefts to decide if it was a single activity or several. Of all the punishments, single theft will produce the most lenient.
The Punishment for Multiple Thefts
If the defendant is regularly committing thefts or has taken multiple items from many locations, it could count as several charges, even if they occurred during the same crime spree. Still, there is a chance that the defendant could be charged with misdemeanors instead of felonies.
Find A Criminal Defense Lawyer Near Me….
Thomas Ramunda Jr has more than 25 years of experience defending people’s rights. He consistently earns high customer satisfaction reviews because he listens and understands his clients’ needs. If you are facing theft charges, you want South Denver Law on your side.
I Am Seeking A….
Denver Criminal Defense Lawyer
610 Ulster Street, Suite 150, Denver, Colorado 80237 (Denver Tech Center)
Parker Criminal Defense Lawyer
19590 E. Mainstreet, Suite 103, Parker, CO 80138 (Parker/Main Office)
Colorado Springs Criminal Defense Lawyer
South Denver Law is available for your criminal defense needs. Contact us today at 303.840.2700 to get your consultation.