Theft charges in Utah include minor misdemeanors as well as serious felonies that can result in lengthy prison sentences. Even minor theft charges can be enhanced to the felony level if you have prior theft convictions.
If you are facing criminal charges for theft in Salt Lake or in other parts of the state, it is best to have an experienced Utah criminal defense lawyer on your side. Contact us today to arrange for an initial consultation with a member of our Utah criminal defense team.
Level of the Offense – Value and Type of Property
The level of the offense in a Utah theft case is typically determined by the value of the item taken. There are some exceptions, but in general, the following rules apply.
Misdemeanors – Items valued at less than $500 are typically charged as class B misdemeanors. Items valued at between $500 and $1,500 can be charged as class A misdemeanors.
Felonies – A stolen item valued at more than $1,500 lifts the level of the charge to a third-degree felony. If the value is more than $5,000, the felony charge rises to the second-degree level.
Guns, Cars, & Horses – Some items can result in felony charges regardless of their value. Vehicles, guns/fireamrs, and certain livestock (rustling) start out at the second-degree felony level, no matter what their dollar value may be. Stealing a cheap gun, a beat-up car worth a few hundred, or an old horse can give a prosecutor grounds for filing the case as a felony.
Prior Convictions – Felony charges can also be filed, without regard to the value or nature of the item stolen, when the suspect/defendant has a prior record of convictions for theft, burglary, or other similar charges. Utah’s legislature has a history of making frequent changes to the exact grounds for this type of enhancement. Consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney is strongly encouraged to ensure that you have current, up-to-date information on the charges you may be facing.
Finding a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Salt Lake City
If you are facing charges for theft or other related charges, it is important to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. The attorneys at Canyons Law Group have successfully defended clients in a variety of theft-related cases including vehicle theft, joyriding, theft of firearms, retail theft, vehicle burglary, residential burglary, theft by receiving, robbery, and more.
Contact us today to arrange for an initial consultation