blog Criminal Defense Colorado Theft Crimes: Legal Defenses and Case Preparation

Colorado Theft Crimes: Legal Defenses and Case Preparation

By Colorado Attorney-at-law on July 30, 2023

In Colorado, theft crimes are prevalent and carry serious legal consequences. Understanding the complex legal framework surrounding these offenses is crucial, especially for those facing charges. These crimes can range from petty theft to more severe offenses, each carrying its own set of penalties under Colorado law.

Navigating this landscape alone is not recommended. A skilled Breckenridge theft defense attorney not only protects your rights but also crafts a strong defense strategy tailored to your specific case. If you’re grappling with theft charges, don’t leave your future to chance. Reach out to us today for a consultation and let our team at Whitaker & Penix, LLC guide you through this challenging time.

What Are Theft Charges?

The Colorado Revised Statutes provide a comprehensive legal framework for theft offenses, each with distinct elements and penalties. According to Section 18-4-401 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, theft involves knowingly obtaining or exercising control over anything of value that belongs to another person without authorization or by threat or deception and with the intent to permanently deprive the other person of its use or benefit1.

Types of Theft Charges

In Colorado law, the specifics of theft offenses vary, often depending on the value of the stolen property.

For instance:

  • Misdemeanor: The crime of theft is treated as a misdemeanor if the value of the stolen property ranges from $300 to $2,000.
  • Petty offense: If the value is less than $300, it is considered a petty offense.
  • Felony charges: Values exceeding $2,000 can lead to felony charges.

What Elements Must be Present in a Theft Crime?

Under Colorado law, the crime of theft involves specific elements that must be proven. These include:

  • There must be a taking of personal property.
  • The property taken must belong to another person.
  • The taking must be done with the intent to gain, usually interpreted as intending to deprive the owner permanently of the property.
  • The taking must be done without the consent of the owner.
  • The taking must be accomplished without the use of violence or force.
  • The severity of the theft charges can vary based on the value of the stolen property.

Effective Case Preparation for Theft Crimes

Preparing a hearty defense for theft crimes involves a multi-faceted approach.

Evidence Gathering and Examination

The first step is conducting a thorough investigation to gather all relevant evidence. This includes analyzing surveillance footage, witness statements, and any physical evidence linked to the alleged theft. A meticulous examination can identify inconsistencies or weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, potentially undermining their key arguments.

Witness Preparation and Testimony

Witnesses play a crucial role in any criminal trial. Preparing them to provide accurate and compelling testimony is vital. A defense attorney may challenge the credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses through cross-examination. Presenting witnesses or forensic evidence can bolster the defense’s case.

Negotiating Plea Bargains

Depending on the strength of the prosecution’s case and potential defenses, it may be beneficial to negotiate plea bargains or explore alternative resolutions. An experienced Breckenridge criminal defense attorney can offer strategic advice, helping you to make more informed decisions about your case.

Consult a Colorado Criminal Defense Attorney

It’s crucial to seek legal representation immediately, as the consequences can be severe, including hefty fines, incarceration, and a criminal record. Facing theft crime charges can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to navigate this challenging situation alone.

The Summit County criminal defense lawyers at Whitaker & Penix, LLC in Breckenridge have extensive trial experience and knowledge of local courts. We are committed to providing personalized legal counsel and giving each case specialized attention. If you’re dealing with theft charges, call us today at (970) 368-0602 to schedule a free initial consultation.

Posted in: Criminal Defense