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What is Felony Theft?

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Theft is classified as a felony when the value of the property or service is over a specific dollar amount. The amount is defined by individual states. What could be a misdemeanor offense in one state could be a felony offense in another.

Types of Felony Theft

Though there are many offenses that can be classified as theft, the basic offense can be generally defined as any person knowingly…

  • controlling the property of another with the intent of depriving that person of the property
  • obtaining services or property by misrepresentation
  • converting services or property entrusted to their care
  • controlling lost or stolen property

Felony Theft Classifications

Theft is a class 2 felony when the value of the property or service is more than $25,000.

  • If the value is over $4,000 but less than $25,000, it is a class 3 felony.
  • If the value is over $3,000 but less than $4,000 is it a class 4 felony.
  • If the value is more than $2,000 but less than $3,000 it is a class 5 felony.
  • If the value is over $1,000 but less than $2,000 it is a class 6 felony.
  • If the value of the property is over $100,000, the defendant loses his eligibility for sentence suspension, probation or early release from prison.

Punishments for Felony Theft

  • Class 2 felony offenders face a presumptive 5 years imprisonment
  • Class 3 felony offenders face a presumptive 3 ½ years imprisonment
  • Class 4 felony offenders face a presumptive 2 ½ years imprisonment
  • Class 5 felony offenders face a presumptive 1 ½ years imprisonment
  • Class 6 felony offenders face a presumptive 1 year prison term

Mitigating circumstances can lower any felony sentence, just as aggravated circumstances can enhance a sentence. Habitual offenders are sentenced with enhanced penalties, which can mean additional years in prison and higher fines.

Fines are usually set according to the classification of the offense and can range from $1,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars. In Arizona, fines for felonies are set at any amount up to $150,000.

*The laws and penalties regarding felony classes and offenses vary for each state; however Arizona law presents a fair and clear representation of penal law, and is used in this article to offer a basic understanding of felony theft offenses. The information contained in this article should not be construed as legal advice, and those accused of any felony should seek legal counsel immediately.

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