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Shoplifting may seem like a minor offense, but it is still a theft charge that may have life-changing consequences. A theft conviction can come with jail time and steep fines, and it can affect your ability to find employment.

Don’t let a shoplifting-related theft charge derail your future. The Denver criminal defense attorneys at Wolf Law have extensive experience helping those charged with theft find just resolutions to their cases and move forward with their lives.

If you’re facing theft charges in the greater Denver area, call Wolf Law today at 720-479-8574 for a free consultation or contact us online to tell us your story now.

Colorado Shoplifting and Theft Laws

Colorado defines theft, which includes shoplifting, in Article 4 of the Colorado Revised Statutes.

Theft occurs when:

“A person … knowingly obtains, retains, or exercises control over anything of value of another without authorization or by threat or deception; or receives, loans, money by pawn or pledge on, or disposes of anything of value or belonging to another that he or she knows to believe to have been stolen…”

Theft is a broad legal term used to describe several acts, including shoplifting. Colorado’s statutory intent law makes it clear that shoplifting is a type of theft:

“If any law of this state 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…”

However, the law is written in a way that gives room for situations that could lead to trouble for some shoppers. For example, switching price tags or damaging merchandise are considered forms of shoplifting.

While some perceive shoplifting to be a minor crime, shoplifting penalties can be far-reaching. In addition to criminal changes, business owners or theft victims can pursue civil litigation to compensate losses and punish offenders.

Unrecognizable Caucasian female shoplifting in a clothing store.
Shoplifting is a form of theft, and penalties can include steep fines and jail time.

Shoplifting and Theft Penalties in Colorado

The penalties for shoplifting depend on the value of the stolen item(s). Based on the Colorado Revised Statutes, theft is categorized and penalized as follows:

  • A Class 1 Petty Offense if the stolen item is less than $50. Penalties may include up to one year in jail and/or a fine.
  • A Class 3 Misdemeanor if the stolen item is $50 or more but less than $300. Penalties may include up to six months in jail and/or a fine.
  • A Class 2 Misdemeanor if the stolen item is more than $300 but less than $750. Penalties may include up to 1 year in jail and a fine up to $1,000.
  • A Class 1 Misdemeanor if the stolen item is more than $750 but less than $2,000. Penalties may include up to 18 months in jail and a fine up to $5,000.
  • A Class 6 Felony if the stolen item is more than $2,000 but less than $5,000. Penalties include one year to 18 months in jail and possible fines.
  • A Class 5 Felony if the stolen item is more than $5,000 but less than $20,000. Penalties include one to three years in jail and possible fines.
  • A Class 4 Felony if the stolen item is more than $20,000 but less than $100,000. Penalties include two to six years in jail and possible fines.
  • A Class 3 Felony if the stolen item is more than $100,000 but less than $1 million. Penalties include four to 12 years in jail and possible fines.
  • A Class 2 Felony if the stolen item is $1 million or more. Penalties include eight to 24 years in jail and up to a $1 million fine.

Aggravating factors such as resisting arrest, use of force to acquire stolen items, or several theft charges in a short period of time can enhance the penalties.

Teenager in handcuffs after shoplifting
In addition to facing criminal charges, shoplifters may also be subject to civil lawsuits from business owners or theft victims.

Contact a Denver Criminal Defense Lawyer Who Cares

Even if you’re a first-time offender, shoplifting and theft penalties can be severe. Protect yourself and your future by working with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The compassionate attorneys at Wolf Law have handled numerous shoplifting and theft cases throughout the Denver metro area and Colorado. We know that people make mistakes, and we understand the unique challenges these charges create for individuals.

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a criminal diversion program, which are available to youths and adults alike. These programs can aid those struggling with mental health problems, disorders like kleptomania, drug abuse, and more.

If you or a loved one is accused of shoplifting or is facing other theft-related charges, call Wolf Law today at 720-479-8574 for your free consultation or contact us online to get started now.

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Jeff Wolf Helped Me Keep My Job

Jeff was a terrific advocate while representing me through my DWAI. He was professional. I am convinced that it was his prior trial experience and effective communication skills that secured a much more desirable sentence than I had expected. I am positive that Jeff’s representation made it so that I could keep my job.

— Matt

Great Law Firm

Jeff Wolf and Cassandra Monahan were wonderful to work with. Very professional and thorough.

— Laura A.

Wonderful Experience with Colleen Kelley

I recently had the pleasure of becoming Colleen Kelley’s client. Even despite the terrible circumstances of fighting wrongful criminal charges, Colleen provided a supportive and pleasant experience during this process. Thankfully, I was introduced to Colleen through another attorney. She took my case on short notice and started working on my behalf in less than 24 hours by showing up to court the day after I secured her services.

She was diligent in her research, communication, and pursuit of justice. In just three short months, my case was dismissed. During this three-month nightmare, Colleen provided clarity and assurance along the way. While Colleen was very thorough in regards to every possible outcome I might experience, her professionalism and devotion to this case made it clear that the outcomes would be outstanding from day one. I’m so thankful that I found Colleen to represent me. I would highly recommend her services.

— Dawn R.

6-Month Jail Sentence Reduced to 90 Days

I was arrested in May 2014 for a warrant that I had since 2010 for DUR, I was facing a six month jail sentence that would have caused me to lose my business, home, as well as once again re-offend me. After countless calls and conversations and meetings with numerous attorneys I was referred to Jeffery Wolf. By simply speaking with him over the phone I felt a little at ease, until I met with him and after that I was completely at ease. He made feel the way an attorney is suppose to make a client feel. He was extremely personable, caring, honest, completely honest, and very detailed as to what his process is and what will take place in court.

On the day of my hearing Jeff arrived a little early and had me wait in the hallway while he stepped into the court room and went to bat for me. The result was a 0 point violation allowing me to keep my DL, a six-month jail sentence reduced to 90 days in-home detention, and a $67 fine, which was way more than I expected.

I highly recommend Jeff he is an excellent attorney that takes your case as serious as you do. I hope I never have to hire an attorney again but if I do without a doubt Jeffrey Wolf will be my first and only thought.

— David

The best lawyer you could ever hire !!!

Jeffrey Wolf is the best lawyer you could ever hire. He most definitely went way above and beyond the call of duty for me and my case. I’m sure that some of you have hired other lawyers in the past and it seemed like they drug their heels, and wouldn’t return calls, which made you feel that they didn’t care about you.

As far as I’m concerned that will never happen to you if you hire Jeffrey Wolf. He treated me like I was either his best friend or a member of his family, that’s how I felt dealing with him. I honestly looked forward to his calls. He seems like a super cool/good guy. If I lived in Colorado I would be honored to even hang out sometime, maybe shoot some pool, go bowling, ect just have fun. But the most important thing as far as business goes he got an amazing result for me in the case he represented me for. If yall don’t hire Jeffrey as your attorney then you’re making a HUGE mistake that you will probably regret the rest of your life. Again tyvvvvvvvm Jeffrey Wolf for taking care of me. You are the best.

— Francis White

Great Lawyer

I am very pleased with the outcome of my court case. Colleen Kelley kept me informed on the various process and was successful in removing my name from sex offender registry. I highly recommend Colleen Kelley if you need a lawyer.

— - Anonymous

Wolf Law Office Amazing team!!!

I had been referred to Jeff from a family member and sure glad I was. Jeff takes his time to make sure I was aware of what is going on. Very kind and professional, great at what he does on helping people. Thank you Jeff for all your hard work.

Also thank you to Cassandra for also handling the DMV side I can’t tank you enough for helping me with that also.

— Jordan M.

Helped Me Through a Rough Time!

I became quite the habitual traffic offender with two speeding tickets and one ticket with two charges totaling 12 points. Jeff brought the 12-pointer down to a 3-pointer and a small fine, and saved my license with the two other tickets at bay. I had a lot of trauma at the time of the tickets, and he not once judged me. He is quick to respond to a call or email or text and walks you through each process. I am so glad I listened to earlier reviews because he made this process so much easier. I would definitely recommend him to anyone dealing with similar infractions and problems!

— Tiffany

Sensitive Criminal Matter

At first I was unsure, working with attorneys can be so stressful and difficult to gauge if they can help you effectively. I used this firm for two different cases and I was glad that they were reasonable and didn’t tell me falsehoods. Straight to the point and don’t promise you rainbows and butterflies. That is what you want: a straight up lawyer who doesn’t give you nonsense. Be patient, they will help you and you can feel like they forgot; but that’s just how this stuff goes. Court cases take time and they have many clients, its nothing personal. When we went to court everything was laid out for me to understand and I think they prepared for each task. Each case was handled professionally and they answered all my questions. Thank you, Cassandra and Colleen

— Anonymous

Professional, Thorough and Successful

Jeff handled my case with expertise and professionalism. He examined my case quickly and accurately then presented me with sound options and advice going forward. Very satisfied with the almost immediate responses to phone calls and emails. Pleased with the outcome Jeff was able to provide in my case.

— Charlie G.