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Lakewood Theft and Burglary Attorney

Charges of theft, robbery and burglary can leave a lasting impact on your future. They can make it much more difficult to find a job, pursue higher education or get access to student loans. For these reasons and more, it is crucial to vigorously contest these charges with the help of an attorney.

At The Law Offices of Elaine E. Lukic, we can help. Attorney Elaine Lukic is a former prosecutor who has been practicing criminal law for more than 25 years. She has the skills, experience and resources to defend you against any type of criminal charges, including those alleging theft crimes.

If you are facing theft or burglary charges in Lakewood, Colorado, call a Lakewood criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to begin working on your defense.  

What’s The Difference Between Theft, Burglary And Robbery?

These three terms are often used interchangeably, but they have different meanings under Colorado’s criminal statutes. Here is a brief overview:

Theft involves the taking of someone else’s property without their consent, and the specific classification of theft depends on the value of the items taken. The stealing of property worth less than $50 is considered petty theft. Misdemeanor theft is the theft of property worth between $50 and $2,000. Finally, the theft of property worth more than $2,000 is charged as a felony.

Burglary is most often a specific theft scenario. You commit burglary when you wrongfully enter a building or other property to steal something. It could also involve wrongful entry to commit a different crime. Burglary is always charged as a felony in Colorado.

Robbery is also a specific theft scenario. It involves taking someone’s property by using force, threatening to use force or intimidating the victim. Robbery is always charged as a felony in Colorado.

Potential Penalties For A Theft Conviction 

Colorado generally penalizes theft charges based on the value of the property involved. Potential penalties can range from a $250 fine to up to 12 years in prison and $750,000 in fines. If you are facing theft crimes, you must hire an experienced Lakewood theft and burglary attorney who can examine your case and plan a strong defense. If a suspected burglary results in property damage, you may need to hire a Lakewood criminal mischief lawyer.

If you are convicted of theft, the prosecutor can charge you with the following offense and the judge can impose the following penalties based on the value of the allegedly stolen property per CRS 18-4-401:

  • Less than $300 – Petty offense – Up to ten days in a county jail, a fine up to $300
  • $300-999– Class 2 misdemeanor – Up to 120 days in jail, a fine up to $750
  • $1,000-$1,999 – Class 1 misdemeanor – Up to one year in jail, a fine up to $1,000
  • $2,000-$4,999 – Class 6 felony – Up to 18 months in jail, a fine up to $100,000
  • $5,000-$19,999 – Class 5 felony – 1 to 3 years in prison, a fine up to $100,000
  • $20,000-$99,999 – Class 4 felony – 2 to 6 years in prison, a fine up to $500,000
  • $100,000-$999,999 – Class 3 felony – 4 to 12 years in prison, a fine up to $750,000
  • $1,000,000 or more – Class 2 felony – 8 to 24 years in prison, a fine up to $1 million

Collateral Consequences

In addition to the direct penalties outlined above, you can face consequences that last for many years, including:

  • Difficulty finding employment – Having a theft conviction, even for a relatively minor crime like shoplifting can serve as a bar to employment in many fields, including anything that involves handling money. 
  • A criminal record – A criminal record can follow you around for the rest of your life, serving as an obstacle to find housing, jobs, and educational opportunities.  Landlords, potential employers, educational institutions, and others will likely be able to find a criminal conviction and use it as a bar against you. 
  • Difficulty obtaining professional licenses – To obtain various types of professional licenses, you must pass background checks and disclose legal problems. You can lose any professional license you currently have upon conviction. 
  • Immigration consequences – If you are not a citizen, you can face potential consequences with your immigration status, including removal. 

These are just some of the potential consequences a conviction could mean for your life. This is why it is important to speak to an experienced Lakewood theft and burglary attorney. We can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your case and plan a defense that avoids these direct and collateral consequences. We always put your interests first.  

The Details Are Critical To Your Defense

Any Although all three of these crimes involve an element of theft, they are charged differently and can carry significantly different penalties. For this reason, it is critical to have an experienced Lakewood criminal defense attorney advocating for you from the beginning (usually right after being arrested).

If contacted early, we may be able to get charges dismissed or reduced based on the facts of the case. At the very least, we will gather all available evidence and immediately get to work building a strong defense against the charges.

These cases are not always as clear-cut as they seem. Common defenses might include:

  • Showing that you were mistakenly identified by eyewitnesses
  • Showing that you actually own the allegedly stolen property or that the alleged victim gave it to you
  • Showing that you did not threaten anyone and were not in possession of a weapon
  • Showing that the prosecution inflated the value of the stolen property in order to charge you with a more serious crime

If you are charged with theft, you may be able to plead not guilty. We will try to have the charges against you dismissed if at all possible. If your case goes to trial, we can work for an acquittal. You may also have other alternatives, such as negotiating an agreement to enter deferred judgment or a diversion program. Call today to learn more about your legal options. 

Contact Me To Discuss Your Legal Options In A Free Consultation

With two Colorado locations, The Law Offices of Elaine E. Lukic serves clients in Lakewood and throughout the Denver metro area. To schedule your free initial consultation with a highly experienced criminal defense lawyer, call me at (303) 809-3425 or send me an email. I can help.