Colorado law defines theft very broadly. In fact, if you face theft charges, the specific charge could be virtually anything from simple shoplifting of something worth under $50 to grand larceny of something worth over $1 million.
As FindLaw explains, any theft charge requires only the following three elements:
- You knowingly obtain, retain or control an item.
- You do so without the owner’s authorization or by using deception or threat to get it.
- You intend to permanently deprive the owner of the item.
Colorado divides thefts into three misdemeanor classifications, each based on the item’s value. Class 3 misdemeanors encompass items worth between $50 and $300. Class 2 misdemeanors encompass items worth between $300 and $750. Class 1 misdemeanors encompass items worth between $750 and $2,000.
Colorado divides more serious thefts into the following felony classifications:
- Class 6 felony: items valued between $2,000 and $5,000
- Class 5 felony: items valued between $5,000 and $20,000
- Class 4 felony: items valued between $20,000 and $100,000
- Class 3 felony: items valued between $100,000 and $1 million
- Class 2 felony: items valued above $1 million
As you might expect, the penalties you face upon conviction of a theft charge increase as the value of the item increases.
Misdemeanor conviction penalties range from a low of six months maximum in jail and a maximum $750 fine for a Class 3 misdemeanor to a high of 18 months maximum in prison and a maximum $2,000 fine for a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Felony conviction penalties range from a low of 18 months maximum in prison and a maximum $100,000 fine for a Class 6 felony to a high of a maximum 24-year prison sentence and a maximum $1 million fine for a Class 2 felony.