In Arizona laws are in place that will result in criminal charges imposed on a person or business who knowing buys or sells stolen property that they know or should have known were stolen.
Laws were enacted as recently as January and March of 2012 that impose strict guidelines on businesses, particularly copper and metal buyers to register, index, report, and obtain proof of the originating source of the goods.
Failure to comply with the laws or to make a reasonable effort to find out the rightful owner of property they purchase from an entity may result in theft offense prosecution of the business owner or buyer of the stolen property.
A.R.S. § 13-1802. Theft; classification; definitions
A. Theft defined: A person commits theft if they unlawfully and knowingly:
• Control property of another knowing or having reason to know that the property was stolen; or
• Control another’s property with intent to deprive the other person of that property; or
• Gains control of property that was lost, misplaced, or delivered to the wrong addressee, belonging to another without making a reasonable effort to find or notify the real owner.
Theft of property under $1,000.00 may be charged as a Misdemeanor. Theft of property with a value equal to $1,000.00 or are classified as Felonies. They range from Class 5 up to Class 2 depending on the value. The higher the monetary value the more serious the penalties.
If the item stolen is a firearm; or an animal stolen for the purpose of fighting, the charge will be classified as Class 6 Felonies even if the value is under $1,000.00
Convictions for first-time theft charges carry harsh penalties. The range from the low sentencing of six months in jail, and fines of up to $2,500.00 for a Class 1 Misdemeanor. Class 2 felony theft convictions expose a person to prison sentencing ranging from four to ten years.
All theft convictions may include court ordered counseling, community service, probation, restitution, costs, assessments; fees, and fines that can be exorbitant upwards to $150,000.
In the case of a Class 1 Misdemeanor theft first-offense, that involves a limited dollar value the offender may qualify to participate in a theft diversion program, in place of serving jail time.
Criminal Defense Theft Crimes Chandler AZ
If you were arrested for any type of theft crime you should consult a criminal defense attorney to discuss your matter and options for defense. If you have first offense Misdemeanor charges, with no criminal record, you may qualify for a diversion program. If you face felony theft charges or have been charged with a repeat offense, you should retain a private practice criminal attorney to defend you. They will protect your rights; defend your charges; and work to get a favorable resolution in your case.
Additional Theft Resources:
• Arizona State Legislature – Theft Definition and Classification
• Arizona State Legislature – Trafficking stolen property
• Arizona Department of Public Safety – Vehicle Theft Task Force