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Phoenix Theft Attorney

Phoenix Theft AttorneyHave you been arrested for theft in Phoenix, Arizona?  Orent Law Offices has defended clients charged with criminal matters for more than 33 years, including dui, federal crimes, Phoenix juvenile crimes, assault defense, Phoenix domestic violence, drug charges, and sex crimes.


Contact our Phoenix law office at (480) 656-7301 to schedule your free case review to discuss how a Phoenix Theft Attorney can help you.

With your freedom and good name on the line, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced lawyer right away. Your defense attorney will help you protect your rights, build a defense, and fight for a satisfactory conclusion to your case.

How Orent Law Offices Can Help if You’re Arrested for Theft in Phoenix, AZ

Theft offenses are prosecuted aggressively in Phoenix, AZ and the criminal justice system can be harsh. You deserve a robust defense and a legal advocate who will offer sound legal advice and fight for your best interests.

At Orent Law Offices, we focus exclusively on criminal defense. Founding attorney Craig Orent is a Top 100 Trial Lawyer and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist who has represented clients facing serious theft offenses for more than 33 years.

When you choose Orent Law Offices to represent you, we will put our decades of experience and insight to work on your behalf to:

  • Investigate potential violations of your constitutional rights
  • Raise reasonable doubt and question the prosecution’s evidence against you
  • Gather exculpatory evidence to strengthen your defense
  • Offer legal advice and guidance at every stage of your case
  • Seek a dismissal of your charge or a satisfactory plea deal
  • Argue for the minimum possible sentence and penalties

At Orent Law Offices, we have earned a reputation for our successful case resolutions. Contact a Phoenix criminal defense attorney today to learn more about how we can help you fight your theft crime charges.

What Is Theft in Arizona?

Under Arizona law, theft comes in many forms, each with a different penalty. Theft may involve stealing from a home or business, extortion, credit card or benefits fraud, or armed robbery, for example.

The following are some examples of theft offenses under Arizona law.

Shoplifting & Simple Theft

Shoplifting is defined under ARS § 13-1805 as knowingly obtaining goods of another with the intent to deprive them of the goods by:

  • Removing goods without paying full price,
  • Charging the purchase price to someone else without their permission,
  • Paying less than the purchase price through artifice or trick such as switching price tags, or
  • Concealment.

Shoplifting may be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the goods stolen. Petty theft refers to the theft of property valued at less than $1,000. Grand theft is for theft of property over $1,000 in value.

Petty shoplifting in Phoenix is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Theft $1,000 to $2,000 is a Class 6 felony. Shoplifting more than $2,000 is a Class 5 misdemeanor. This is upgraded to a Class 4 felony for theft between $3,000 and $4,000.

Theft of $25,000 or more is a Class 2 felony. This is the most serious possible theft charge.

When someone shoplifts as part of a continuing criminal episode or to assist or promote a street gang, it is a Class 5 misdemeanor. “Continuing criminal episode” refers to theft valued at $1,500+ committed during three separate instances within 90 days.

If someone uses an instrument, artifice, device, or another object to facilitate shoplifting, or has been convicted of two or more theft offenses in the past 5 years, it is a Class 4 felony.


Theft and larceny are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but larceny is a type of theft. While theft can refer to taking and using anything from someone else without their permission (even information like a Social Security number), larceny refers to stealing with the sole purpose of using the item for personal use.


Robbery refers to theft that is committed with the use of a weapon or force or threats of force. According to ARS § 13-1902, robbery is committed when property is taken from someone’s person or in their immediate presence against their will.

Robbery is a Class 4 felony. This offense can be upgraded to a more serious charge, however.

Aggravated robbery occurs when the offense is committed with the help of an accomplice. This is a Class 3 felony.

Armed robbery is a Class 2 felony. This charge refers to robbery when the offender is armed with a simulated or actual deadly weapon or uses or threatens the use of a deadly or simulated weapon or other dangerous instrument.


This form of theft involves unlawful entrance into someone else’s property, whether it is a home or a commercial property. Burglary is committed when someone enters or stays unlawfully in a building with the intent to commit theft or any felony. Burglary may be charged in three degrees.

First degree burglary involves knowingly possessing a deadly weapon, explosives, or a dangerous instrument in the commission of any type of theft or felony. This is a Class 2 felony when committed in a home or a Class 3 felony in a non-residential structure or residential yard.

Second degree burglary is committed when someone unlawfully enters or remains in a residential structure with the intent to commit theft or a felony. This is a Class 3 felony.

Third degree burglary involves a non-residential structure or a fenced residential or commercial yard. It also includes making entry to a vehicle with a master or manipulation key. It is a Class 4 felony.

All forms of burglary are considered very serious criminal charges in Phoenix.

Auto Theft

Theft of a vehicle is treated differently than other types of theft in Arizona.

ARS § 13-1814 defines theft of means of transportation as doing any of the following without permission or authority:

  • Controlling someone else’s means of transportation with the intent to deprive them,
  • Converting for an unauthorized use or term someone else’s means of transportation after it is entrusted to the defendant for a limited term or use,
  • Obtaining someone else’s vehicle through material misrepresentation, or
  • Controlling someone else’s vehicle with knowledge or reason to believe it was stolen.

Auto theft in Phoenix is a Class 3 felony. It becomes an aggravated charge with a higher prison sentence if threats or actual harm are used to steal a vehicle.

Other Types of Theft in Arizona

Other common examples of theft may include:

  • Identity theft
  • Receipt of stolen property
  • Embezzlement
  • Theft of intellectual property
  • Fraud

Many of these offenses are considered white collar crimes because they are driven by financial intent, do not involve violence, and usually committed by professionals or with the use of technology.

What Are the Penalties for Theft in Phoenix, Arizona?

While the penalties for theft can range a great deal in severity from fairly minor misdemeanors to serious felonies, all theft offenses should be taken seriously. Even a misdemeanor theft conviction can affect your life and leave you with a permanent criminal record.

For common theft offenses, the penalties will usually depend on the value of the stolen goods.

You may face the following penalties for theft in Arizona.

  • Class 2 felony: up to 10 years in prison (5 years presumptive)
  • Class 3 felony: up to 7 years in prison (3.5 years presumptive)
  • Class 4 felony: up to 3 years in prison (2.5 years presumptive)
  • Class 5 felony: up to 2 years (1.5 years presumptive)
  • Class 6 felony: up to 18 months in prison (1 year presumptive)
  • Class 1 misdemeanor: up to 6 months in jail
  • Class 2 misdemeanor: up to 4 months in jail
  • Class 3 misdemeanor: up to 30 days in jail

You may face higher penalties for aggravated offenses. This may include a longer minimum prison sentence. Fines may be up to $150,000 depending on the severity of the theft offense.

For some first-time theft offenses, you may be eligible to avoid jail time. However, it’s important to seek experienced legal counsel from a Phoenix theft defense lawyer to discuss your best course of action.

You may also face a civil claim from the alleged victim. For example, someone who shoplifts may be sued by the store owner.

What Are Possible Defenses to Theft in Phoenix?

When you are facing a theft charge, it’s crucial to begin working on your defense as soon as possible. Your Phoenix criminal defense lawyer will investigate your case and help you explore possible defense strategies.

The type of defense will depend on the type of theft offense and the circumstances of your case. For simple theft crimes like shoplifting, your defense may be that you unintentionally left without paying. If you are accused of theft due to a swapped price tag or another item concealed in something you bought, you may have a valid defense if you were not the one who committed these acts or intended to steal.

Depending on your case, other possible defense strategies may include entrapment, duress, mistaken identity, or intoxication. While voluntary intoxication is not a valid defense, it can be used to plead for lesser charges.

At Orent Law Offices, we will also work to gather exculpatory evidence that proves innocence. We can introduce evidence to undermine the case against you such as alibi evidence or challenging witness identification.

Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with Our Phoenix Theft Attorney

A theft conviction can follow you for the rest of your life. When you are facing a theft charge in Phoenix, AZ, Orent Law Offices is here to fight for you and give you the vigorous legal defense you deserve.

Visit our law office in Phoenix, AZ, for a free consultation with a Phoenix theft attorney. We will review your case and discuss possible defense strategies.

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