AZ Man Charged with Class 6 Felony After Arrest for Theft
Timothy James Bell, a homeless Phoenix man, was arrested after a 911 call was placed stating that the man had stolen a burrito using excessive force. Police officer Matthew Tate responded to the call, where he found the burrito wrapper still on Bell. Tate escorted Bell to jail, where he was preliminarily charged with a class 4 felony due to the accusation of excessive force in the theft.
The Attorney General’s Office has since changed the charge to a class 6 felony. Since Bell took the item from the person directly, it was bumped from a misdemeanor to a felony charge. Bell took a plea deal and is awaiting sentencing. A motion will be filed as part of the plea deal to suppress Bell’s prior convictions from the sentencing hearing.
THEFT CONVICTIONS AND SENTENCING IN ARIZONA
Class 1 Misdemeanor
This is the lowest level misdemeanor charge you can receive for the theft of a product or service. It is reserved for items or services that are valued at under $1000. This is also known as petty, a
This charge could be bumped up to a level 6 felony if the product or service was taken physically off of the person. It does not matter if it is valued under $1000.
Sentencing can include up to six months in jail and a fine of $2500 or less. It is possible that the court may make the offender pay restitution.
Level 6 Felony
This is the lowest level felony for theft charges. It is reserved for products or services at least $1000 in value but does not exceed $2000. The incarceration period for this ranges from four months to two years. The fine will not exceed $150,000.
Level 5 Felony
This felony is charged when the theft is valued between $2000 and $3000. Jail time for a level 5 felony is a minimum of 1-year incarceration up to 2.5 years. The fine will not exceed $150,000.
Level 4 Felony
Level 4 felony theft convictions are a special category. They involve items valued between $3000 and $4000 but also include the theft of any car engine or transmission (regardless of value). A person who shoplifts and has two or more prior convictions will also be subject to a level 4 felony.
Sentencing for a level 4 felony includes a minimum of 1 to 3.75 years in jail and a fine that will not exceed $150,000.
Class 3 Felony
The theft of items valued between $4000 and $25,000 are subject to a class 3 felony. It is punishable by a minimum of 2 to 8.75 years imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $150,000.
Class 2 Felony
The theft of property or services of $25,000 or more carries an imprisonment period of 3 to 12.5 years and a maximum fine of $150,000.
RECENT THEFT STATISTICS
Based on a recent report released by the FBI, burglary and theft rates in the state of Arizona have dropped drastically compared to recent years. Based on the report, the percentage has gone down by 16% statewide.
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