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Breaking Down Shoplifting Charges in Colorado

Theft and Shoplifting

According to Colorado law, theft is defined as the act of taking property from another with the intent to deprive that person of property. Most often, theft involves taking property from retail establishments, which is known as shoplifting. There are a variety of instances that classify shoplifting into categories of offenses, all of which are stated in the Colorado Revised Statutes, under sections 18-4-401 and 18-4-403. The base penalties are based on the valued amount of the property stolen, which range from a Class 1 Misdemeanor to a Class 4 Misdemeanor. Below, we’ve listed a breakdown of all the penalties of shoplifting that a person can be charged with in Colorado.

Tier One

Shoplifted items valued at less than $500: Class 2 Misdemeanor under 18-4-401(b)

Penalty: Between 3 months and one year in jail and/or fines between $250 and $1,000.

Tier Two

Shoplifted items valued between $500 and $1,000: Class 1 Misdemeanor under 18-4-401(b5)

Penalty: Between 6-18 months of jail time and/or fines between $500 and $5,000.

Tier Three

Tampering and/or possessing tools to tamper with theft detection devices: Class 1 Misdemeanor

Penalty: Between 6-18 months of jail time and/or fines between $500 and $5,000.

Tier Four

Shoplifted items valued between $1,000 and $20,000: Class 4 Felony under 18-4-401(c)

Penalty: Between 2 and 6 years of jail time and/or fines between $2,000 and $500,000.

Tier Five

Shoplifted items with an exceeded value of $20,000: Class 3 Felony under 18-4-401(d).

Penalty: Between 4 and 12 years of jail time and/or fines between $3,000 and $750,000.

Civil Cases of Shoplifting

Other additional fines and penalties can arise with shoplifting as well. A merchant can choose to sue adult or emancipated minor shoplifters, which would be transformed into a civil lawsuit. A civil penalty for shoplifting would require the adult or emancipated minor shoplifter(s) to be civilly liable to the owner of the property. The individual(s) would have to pay for the actual damages of property lost, as well as an additional penalty between $100-$250.

How can a Theft Defense Attorney Help?

A defense attorney who has experience with shoplifting charges in the Colorado area can be a great added benefit to help someone with their shoplifting charges. Someone who knows the area, the courts, and the prior cases will know best how to help. For example, some counties offer something called pretrial diversion, which is defined as an alternative to prosecution that sentences certain offenders to programs like community service or paying restitution. In regards to shoplifting cases, some attorneys can negotiate pretrial diversion for first time offenders or for young individuals who do not have a criminal record. Plea deals can be negotiated as well on certain occasions, which would give the accused the option to take a lesser criminal sentence.

If you are facing a criminal case, an attorney who knows the Colorado courts could greatly benefit you. Liberty Law Center has a number of extremely qualified, experienced attorneys who want to work with you to get the results that you want. Call us today to talk about your criminal or shoplifting case.

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