In virtually every society, taking things that belong to others is considered criminal activity. Theft is generally classified into several categories, including burglary, larceny, and other sub categories. The definitions and penalties for these various crimes depend on several things. Did the thief have to break into a building in order to steal? Was the building unlocked, but on private property? Was the stolen item on private property, but not inside a building? How much is the stolen item worth? Many questions like these illustrate the differences between various types of theft, and demonstrate the need for a variation in penalties.
Under Arizona law, there are several main types of larceny. Larceny is generally defined as the wrongful acquisition of another person’s property. Arizona law breaks larceny into misdemeanor larceny and felony larceny.
These divisions are largely based on the monetary value of the items stolen.
Class of Felony or Misdemeanor
|Less than $1000||Misdemeanor theft||Up to 6 months imprisonment|
|$1000-$2000||Class 6 felony||Up to 2 years imprisonment|
|$2000-$3000||Class 5 felony||Up to 2.5 years imprisonment|
|$3000-$4000||Class 4 felony||Up to 3.75 years imprisonment|
|$4000-$25,000||Class 3 felony||Up to 8.75 years imprisonment|
|More than $25,000||Class 2 felony||Up to 12.5 years imprisonment|
In addition to these general guidelines, there are other various conditions that may be applied. For all crimes listed in the above chart, the judge has some discretion as to the severity of the punishment. For thefts of more than $100,000 monetary value, the opportunity for probation is waived and prison time becomes a mandatory part of the conviction.
Because of the variability in sentences in Arizona, and also because of the fact that monetary value of items is often up for interpretation, it’s best to employ the services of an experienced Arizona attorney, such as Guy Brown, who will be versed in Arizona larceny laws and the court system.