Colorado Criminal Theft Law
A person commits the crime of theft within the Denver metropolitan area, or anywhere else within Colorado, when he or she knowingly obtains or exercises control over anything of value of another without authorization, or by threat or deception, and:
(a) Intends to deprive the other person permanently of the use or benefit of the thing of value; or
(b) Knowingly uses, conceals, or abandons the thing of value in such manner as to deprive the other person permanently of its use or benefit; or
(c) Uses, conceals, or abandons the thing of value intending that such use, concealment, or abandonment will deprive the other person permanently of its use and benefit; or
(d) Demands any consideration to which he is not legally entitled as a condition of restoring the thing of value to the other person.
Colorado criminal statutes provide that a thing of value is that of “another” if anyone other than the defendant has a possessory or proprietary interest therein.
The crime of theft can be a felony or misdemeanor in Colorado, depending on the value of item(s) or money stolen. The class of criminal offense is determined by the value of the item or items:
- Theft of property with a value under $500 is a Class 2 Misdemeanor (M2)
- Theft of property with a value of from $500 to $999.99 is a Class 1 Misdemeanor (M1)
- Theft of property with a value of from $1,000 to $19,999.99 is a Class 4 Felony (F4)
- Theft of property with a value of $20,000 or more is a Class 3 Felony (F3)
When a person commits theft twice or more within a period of six months without having been placed in jeopardy for the prior offense or offenses, and the aggregate value of the things involved is one thousand dollars or more but less than twenty thousand dollars, it is a class 4 felony. However, if the aggregate value of the things involved is twenty thousand dollars or more, it is a class 3 felony. Theft from the body of another, by means other than the use of force, threat, or intimidation, is a class 5 felony without regard to the value of the thing taken.
Colorado statutes further prohibit the crime of theft by receiving:
Except as provided under statute, a person commits theft by receiving when he receives, retains, loans money by pawn or pledge on, or disposes of anything of value of another, knowing or believing that said thing of value has been stolen, and when he intends to deprive the lawful owner permanently of the use or benefit of the thing of value.
Where the value of the thing involved is less than five hundred dollars, theft by receiving is a class 2 misdemeanor.
Where the value of the thing involved is five hundred dollars or more but less than one thousand dollars, theft by receiving is a class 1 misdemeanor.
Where the value of the thing involved is one thousand dollars or more but less than twenty thousand dollars, theft by receiving is a class 4 felony.
Where the value of the thing involved is twenty thousand dollars or more, theft by receiving is a class 3 felony.
When the aggregate value of the thing or things involved is one thousand dollars or more and the person committing theft by receiving is engaged in the business of buying, selling, or otherwise disposing of stolen goods for a profit, theft by receiving is a class 3 felony.
When a person commits theft by receiving twice or more within a period of six months, two or more of the thefts by receiving may be aggregated and charged in a single count, in which event the thefts so aggregated and charged shall constitute a single offense, and, if the aggregate value of the things involved is one thousand dollars or more but less than twenty thousand dollars, it is a class 4 felony; however, if the aggregate value of the things involved is twenty thousand dollars or more, it is a class 3 felony.
Any Colorado law that refers to or mentions larceny, stealing, embezzlement (except embezzlement of public moneys), false pretenses, confidence games, or shoplifting, that law shall be interpreted as if the word “theft” were substituted therefor.
There are additional provisions under Colorado criminal law pertaining to the theft of rental property, theft of trade secrets, aggravated motor vehicle theft, theft of fuel, and theft of newspapers, among others.
Every person who obtains control over any stolen thing of value, knowing the thing of value to have been stolen by another, may be tried, convicted, and punished whether or not the initial person who committed the theft is charged, tried, or convicted.
Municipal Courts in Colorado have concurrent power, with Colorado state courts applying state criminal statutes, to adjudicate allegations of theft under applicable municipal ordinances, where the thing of value is less than one thousand dollars ($1,000).
Contact Criminal Defense Attorney Ross Koplin
Colorado criminal theft charges are often the result of an impulsive, once-in-a-lifetime mistake or the result of an inadvertent act. Attorney Ross Koplin believes that poor judgment or bad luck should not result in permanent, life-altering consequences. If you believe that you will face felony or misdemeanor charges stemming from theft-related conduct, contact Ross Koplin for a free, confidential telephone consultation. We will help you evaluate every reasonable legal defense available to you. Ross Koplin is here to help in Denver at: (303) 831-8924.
Legal Disclaimer – The information contained at this web site is not intended to be legal advice and all information regarding Colorado criminal law is general content only and should not be relied upon for any specific Colorado criminal law situation. Information on this web site is not intended to be comprehensive and does not cover all the issues, nuances or ramifications related to the topic discussed. This web site may not be updated routinely to reflect the very most current Colorado law.
Individuals should consult an experienced Denver criminal lawyer for advice regarding an individual situation.