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When do Colorado theft offenses become felonies?

Theft and other property crimes have financial consequences for the victim. Theft could involve someone slipping a package of batteries in their pocket at a store, or it might involve someone stealing thousands of dollars in personal property from a single individual. Obviously, Colorado can’t treat every theft crime like the same kind of offense. 

Many factors influence what charges and penalties someone faces after an accusation of theft. Certain secondary factors, like the use of a weapon during a theft, might make the offense of felony. However, one of the most crucial elements in determining the charges someone faces will be the total value of the property involved.

Money theft crimes are misdemeanor offenses

Whether someone faces accusations of stealing from their employer or from a store, the state will put a price on the assets they took to determine what penalties would be fair. Under Colorado law, property worth less than $50 only results in a petty offense. 

Property worth between $50 and $2,000 can fall into different classifications for misdemeanor theft. However, once the value of the property involved in an alleged theft reaches $2,000, the defendant will likely face felony charges. 

Lower amounts that classify as felonies might be Class 6 felonies, while theft of more than a million dollars would be a Class 2 felony. In some cases, the total value of items stolen, not just the items that were taken at one time, might determine the penalties someone faces. 

When you understand how Colorado sets the charges and penalties someone faces, it can be easier to plan to defend against a pending theft charge. The more you know, the easier it is to participate in your own defense as you work with your legal representation.