News Read

The proud man counts his newspaper clippings, the humble man his blessings

Your 101 for Theft Laws – Stay in the Know

Theft is rife everywhere you go, and knowing your rights regarding theft laws in your state is a good thing.
Stealing property that doesn’t belong to someone is punishable by law. Every county and state has different laws related to theft. Knowing these laws will also help if you’re defending your rights, especially if you have been affected by theft.

What constitutes theft laws?

Theft comes in all forms and shapes, these include but are not limited to the following:

  • Using another person’s private or business property without permission
  • Using lost property without looking for the rightful owner
  • Receiving goods and services without payment
  • Various types of fraud (identity theft etc)

What is the punishment for felony theft?

As with theft laws, each state has its own punishments for felony theft. Punishment is typically dished out based on the class of the felony.

Class 2 felony theft 

In this class, the value of the properties is $25,000 and if it is a first-time offense, the perpetrator will have to do jail time of 5 years. A reoccurring offense the jail time is 35 years.

If the property value exceeds $100,000 the law does not permit an early release, probation, and neither a pardon. Car theft is serious and previous reports showcase the law and prosecution process.

Keep in mind, the specific dollar amounts and time frames will differ depending on the scenario and the state laws.

Class 3 felony theft

This is lower than a class 2 felony and it involves property amounts of less than $25,000 in certain states. In this case, a first-time offender may get 3.5 years imprisonment but there is a maximum sentence of 25 years depending on the number of felonies and offenses.

Class 4 felony theft

In a class 4 felony theft law in certain states, the value does not exceed $4,000. It is also considered a class 4 felony theft if the perpetrator steals a car engine, despite its value. Depending on the state, there may be certain additional considerations that may affect the sentence for the conviction.

A first-time offense may get about 2.5 years with a maximum sentence of 15 years for reoccurring offenses.

Class 5 felony theft

The theft laws in a class 5 felony may result in a shorter jail sentence, around 1.5 years. This class has a maximum of 7.5 years jail sentence. These thefts pertain to goods or services under $3,000.

Class 6 felony theft

The 6th class of felony theft is for goods under $2,000 and the jail sentence is a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 5 years and 9 months for multiple offenses.

Class 1 is regarded as petty theft

Class 1 aka misdemeanor is also regarded as petty theft. This is the smallest value of property and goods and it doesn’t exceed $1,000.

Accused persons can face around 6 months imprisonment plus a fine they must pay. A second offense of petty theft could get the person 2 years in jail as well as the possibility of facing a Class 6 felony theft.

Misdemeanor and felony theft — What’s the difference?

When it comes to a felony, there are a few things that set it apart from a misdemeanor. In certain states’ law, a felony is based on the value of the property stolen whereas a misdemeanor concerns less expensive valued property.

There are different classes dividing the two. These run from a class 1 misdemeanor or “petty theft” through to a class 2 felony.


Apart from the above-listed offenses, there are also those that fall under theft laws that includes shoplifting in the various class felonies. The convicted will also be charged to compensate the owner of the store. There are civil penalties even when a minor is involved.

Theft laws exist to make sure that stealing doesn’t go lightly. Have you got an attorney to help you make sense of the theft laws for Arizona?