Is Larceny a Felony or Misdemeanor in Arizona?
People charged with larceny in Arizona are essentially being charged with the crime of theft. Some states use the term larceny while others use the term theft. A lot of people have heard of petty larceny, but they may not understand what it really means. Arizona considers petty larceny any theft that involves property worth less than $1,000. Beyond that, all larceny cases are defined as felonies. If you’re charged with this crime, it would be wise to talk to a criminal defense lawyer in Arizona as soon as possible after your arrest.
Is Larceny Any Different from Theft?
The terms larceny and theft are often used interchangeable. Even criminal defense lawyers in Arizona have a habit of using one term for the other. The Arizona criminal code uses the term larceny to describe the theft of a third party’s property. Put simply, larceny is when a criminal defendant takes property that doesn’t belong them with no intention of giving it back.
How Does Arizona Law Define Larceny?
As explained above, Arizona uses the term larceny to describe theft. Larceny is the taking of another person’s property with the intent to permanently deprive them of that property. In some larceny cases, the charge may be that you kept somebody’s property a lot longer than was allowed. It may even indicate that you converted somebody’s property to a form that is of no value to the owner. For example, if you take glass from somebody’s garage and install it into your home, they can’t very well take their glass back. In this situation, you would be responsible for the theft of items equal to the value of the glass in its original condition.
Your Criminal Defense Lawyer in Arizona Will Look for Possible Defenses
The reason you hire a criminal defense lawyer in Arizona is so that you can challenge the charges filed against you. Ideally, the charges will be dismissed all together. If that isn’t possible, your criminal defense lawyer in Arizona will try to get them reduced. For example, if you’re charged with stealing a car, the State may initially claim it is a Class 2 felony carrying with it a lengthy prison sentence. Your criminal defense lawyer in Arizona may be able to prove that the car was only worth $3,100. That would mean the crime would be downgraded to a Class 4 felony which carries a much lower sentence.
Arizona Imposes a Penalty Based on the Value of the Stolen Items
The way the law is broken down in Arizona is that the crime you’re charged with depends on what you’re accused of stealing. This classification system is based on value. For the most part, all larceny charges fall under the category of a misdemeanor. The only thing that changes based on value is the class of your misdemeanor. The following is a very basic description of the penal system for larceny in Arizona:
- Class 1 Misdemeanor – $1-$1,000
- Class 6 Felony – $1,000 – $2,000
- Class 5 Felony – $2,000 – $3,000
- Class 4 Felony – $3,000 – $4,000
- Class 3 Felony – $4,000 – $25,000
- Class 2 Felony – $25,000 and higher
All of these crimes carry with them fines, jail time and restitution. Restitution requires that you pay the victim back for any items you are convicted of stealing. As for jail time, that too depends on the degree of your crime. Your sentence could be anywhere from 6 months in jail to 12 and a half years in prison. For some defendants, the judge may be willing to order probation instead of an actual prison sentence.
Reach Out to a Seasoned Criminal Defense Lawyer in Arizona
If you’ve been charged with larceny, you could be facing serious penalties. Depending on the value of the items or services you’re accused of stealing, you could be sentenced to several years in prison. That’s why it’s so important that you hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Arizona. They’ll review your case and determine what kind of evidence that State has against you. They’re also going to look to see what defenses may be available to you.
Even if you’re only facing a year or two in jail, it’s still a significant imposition. Nobody wants to spend one night in jail let alone a year. That’s why it’s so important that you have a solid defense. The only certain way to do that is to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Arizona. Call our office as soon as possible after your arrest to discuss your options and how best to proceed.