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Phoenix Theft Defense Attorney

Theft & Property Crimes Attorney in Arizona

Theft property crimes or larceny covers a host of criminal charges from petty theft to a high-level felony. How severe the punishment will depend on how serious the offense is and the value of the stolen property. If you have been charged with petty theft or auto theft in the state of Arizona, talk to a Phoenix theft defense attorney to learn about what charges to expect, potential consequences, and your legal defenses. We understand how it feels to be wrongly charged especially for a theft crime. We are here and we can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take action today!

How can a Phoenix theft defense attorney help me?

If you’re charged with theft and property crimes in Arizona, you can end up facing serious jail time and fines if you don’t have a good Arizona criminal defense lawyer by your side. A skilled theft defense attorney will work closely with the authorities to provide evidence that you did not commit the crime and create aggressive strategies for defending against charges of petty theft or property crime. An experienced Phoenix theft defense lawyer may even be able to get the charges dropped altogether if there is enough evidence in your favor.

At Snader Law Group, our Phoenix theft defense attorney can help you prepare a strong defense strategy for the charges you’re facing. With over 30 years of experience, our Phoenix criminal defense lawyer and board-certified criminal law expert Howard Snader can defend you against charges of theft, embezzlement, larceny, shoplifting, and other property crimes.

What is a theft crime or property crime?

Theft crimes or property crimes are criminal charges that arise when someone intentionally takes another person’s property without consent. This can include anything from stealing an item off the shelf at a grocery store to breaking into a home and taking belongings. Depending on the value of the stolen property, theft crimes may be classified as petty theft or a more serious felony offense like auto theft.

If you’re charged with any of these property crimes, you should get in touch with an experienced Phoenix theft defense lawyer immediately to start building your defense and avoid the worst-case scenario.

  • Arson
  • Embezzlement
  • Burglary
  • Criminal Damage to Property
  • Larceny
  • Retail Theft
  • Robbery
  • Shoplifting
  • Theft of Services
  • Trade Secret Theft
  • Trespassing

What constitutes theft in Arizona?

In Arizona, you can be charged with theft if you knowingly or willfully take someone else’s property or service without owner authorization, and if the intention is to deprive that individual of the stolen properties or services. It can be done through physical force, misrepresentation, deception, or taking control of the item without the true owner’s knowledge and consent.

Arizona Theft Laws

According to ARS § 13-802, a person commits theft if they take any of the following actions knowingly and without lawful authority:

  • Controls the property of another with the intent to deprive them of it;
  • Converts for an unauthorized term or use services or property of another entrusted to the defendant or placed in the defendant’s possession for a limited, authorized term or use;
  • Obtains services or property of another by means of any material misrepresentation with intent to deprive the other person of such property or services;
  • Comes into control of lost, mislaid or misdelivered property of another under circumstances providing means of inquiry as to the true owner and appropriates such property to the person’s own or another’s use without reasonable efforts to notify the true owner;
  • Controls property of another knowing or having reason to know that the property was stolen;
  • Obtains services known to be available only for compensation without paying for said services;
  • Knowingly takes control, title, use, or management of a vulnerable adult’s property while acting in a position of trust and confidence and with the intent to deprive the vulnerable adult of the property.

What are the types of theft in Arizona?

There are different types of theft and property crimes that you can be charged with. Below are some of the common theft charges in Arizona.


Burglary is defined by ARS § 13-1508 as the act of unlawfully entering a commercial or residential property of another with the intent to steal or commit any other type of felony.


Based on ARS § 13-1902, robbery refers to the act of taking the property of another against their will. This involves the use of threat or force to either make the owner give up their property or prevent them from stopping the perpetrator from taking it.

Certain factors can also aggravate the charge to armed robbery, such as the use of dangerous weapons.

Auto Theft

Auto theft and grand theft auto both involve taking or controlling a vehicle that belongs to another with the intent to deprive the owner of their vehicle.

Petty Theft

Petty theft is a misdemeanor theft where the stolen property or service is worth $1,000 or less.

Grand Theft / Grand Larceny

Grand theft or grand larceny is a felony that involves the theft of property or services valued above $1,000.


In ARS § 13-1805, shoplifting is defined as the act of concealing merchandise and leaving the store premises without the intention of paying for it.

Organized Retail Theft

Similar to shoplifting, ARS § 13-1819 defines organized retail theft as:

  • Taking merchandise from a retail establishment without paying for it with the intent to resell or the merchandise for money or other value; or
  • Using an artifice, container, device, instrument, or other article to facilitate the removal of merchandise from a retail establishment without paying for it.

Theft of Services

Theft of services refers to the act of unlawfully converting the services entrusted to or paid for by another into their own use, or using the services entrusted to them without paying for those services.


Embezzlement is a white-collar crime defined as the theft of all or a portion of property that the individual has been entrusted with monitoring and managing.

Is theft a felony or misdemeanor in Arizona?

Arizona adopts a classification system where the severity of the offense depends on the value of the stolen property (or property type in a few cases). Arizona state law divides such theft property crime offenses into six offense levels starting from a class 1 misdemeanor and leading to a class 2 felony.

  • Class 1 Misdemeanor for items valued at $1,000 or less
  • Class 6 Felony for item valued above $1,000 but less than $2,000
  • Class 5 Felony for items valued above $2,000 but less than $3,000
  • Class 4 Felony for items valued above $3,000 but less than $4,000
  • Class 3 Felony for items valued above $4,000 but less than $25,000
  • Class 2 Felony for items valued at $25,000 or more

Consult an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney to find out which offense level the charge against you falls under.

What are the penalties for theft and property crime in Arizona?

Penalties for Theft

If you are convicted of a theft crime, the penalties can vary depending on your charge classification and the value of the item that was stolen. Aside from leaving a mark on your record and facing jail time, a conviction for theft and other property crimes can result in probation and hefty fines and restitution. The penalties for the following theft convictions are as follows:

  • Up to six months in jail and $2,500 fines for class 1 misdemeanor or petty theft.
  • Sentence of up to five years and nine months for class 6 felony theft.
  • Sentence of up to seven years and six months in jail for class 5 felony theft.
  • Up to 15 years in prison for class 4 felony theft.
  • Up to 25 years in prison for class 3 felony theft.

If you’re a repeat offender, chances are you will face harsher punishments if convicted. Don’t risk your freedom just to save a few bucks. Call our Phoenix theft defense attorney today to protect your freedom in Arizona!

What are the defenses for theft and property crime charges?

There are a number of defenses that you may raise in your theft case. Some of the most common defense to theft charges include the following:

  • You didn’t know you were taking the property in question
  • You had consent or permission from the owner
  • You are the true owner of the property or services

The defense you use depends on your unique circumstances. An experienced Phoenix theft defense lawyer can help you create a personalized defense strategy for your case. If you need someone to defend and protect your freedom, call our Phoenix theft defense lawyer to get started today.

Consult A Phoenix Theft Defense Attorney Today!

At Snader Law Group, we take your criminal charges personally. We have over 30 years of experience defending clients against criminal charges in Phoenix, Avondale, and more locations in Arizona. If you’ve been charged with theft property crime in Arizona, call us at (602) 825-3031 to schedule a free consultation with our Phoenix property crimes attorney and board-certified criminal law specialist today!