How does Colorado define theft?
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.