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Many people facing misdemeanor criminal charges in Arizona have the mistaken belief that because misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, they do not need to concern themselves with these types of charges. Although misdemeanors typically do not result in jail time (with some exceptions), a misdemeanor conviction – especially for theft – can cause countless problems for years to come.
Misdemeanor Theft in Arizona
Under Arizona law, theft is the act of unlawfully taking or controlling another person’s property with the intent to deprive the other person of the property. The possibility of committing theft crimes are much broader today with more access to electronic and digital resources to commit this crime. As such, the crime of theft also includes taking control over another’s intellectual non-tangible property. Moreover, theft may be the acceptance of property with the knowledge that the property was stolen.
Whether theft is a misdemeanor or felony depends on the severity of the crime, and the severity of a theft offense is often associated with the value of the stolen property. In Arizona, theft is a Class 1 Misdemeanor when the property or services at issue has a value of less than $1,000 dollars unless the property at issue is taken directly from another person, is a firearm, or is an animal taken for the purpose of animal fighting. In such cases, the crime becomes a Class 6 Felony.
Penalties for Misdemeanor Theft in Arizona
In Arizona, a Class 1 Misdemeanor is the most serious type of misdemeanor under the law. If convicted of misdemeanor theft, the convicted individual faces a potential jail sentence of six months. Depending on the severity of the theft charge, a convicted person may be sentenced to jail or sentenced to probation.
Misdemeanor Theft Convictions Can Be Damaging Long-Term
Even though a felony conviction is often more serious than a misdemeanor conviction, an employer, landlord, creditor, or school admissions board may not care about anything other than the nature of the crime, which is theft. Convictions for crimes involving dishonestly, such as theft and fraud, can be devastating to a person’s future goals. Because of the harsh consequences associated with a misdemeanor theft conviction, working with an attorney is an important step to consider to ensure your legal rights remain protected.
How an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help
Anyone facing criminal charges has the right to an attorney. Public defenders serve an important purpose for those who cannot afford legal counsel. However, while there are many wonderful public defenders, resources are often limited, and public defenders do not always have the time or bargaining power to help achieve a dismissal of criminal charges or a negotiated resolution that avoids a serious conviction. Working with an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney who does have the time and resources to put forth a strong defense is an option to consider, as a skilled attorney may achieve a better outcome.
Contact an Experienced Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you are facing misdemeanor theft charges, you should not take these charges lightly. Although a misdemeanor conviction may not result in jail time, a conviction can have serious consequences for years to come. At Chuck Franklin Law, we have decades of experience representing the rights of accused Arizonians. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Arizona criminal defense lawyer, contact Chuck Franklin Law today.
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