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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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I have hired Colleen previously and she did wonders including case dismissal. The flat rate fee is such a wonderful carefree situation. I wouldn’t trust anyone else when it comes to felony legal matters.

— Dustin

My Son Was in Trouble, Jeff Wolf was His Advocate

When my son got in trouble, I was referred to Jeff Wolf by a friend. He was immediately responsive, calling me back within an hour. We set up a meeting for a couple of days later with no obligation, and when we met he helped us understand the many aspects of my son’s case. We retained him and were grateful for his obvious comfort with the legal system and ability to help us navigate it. Throughout, he advocated for my son but also was stern with him, very clearly communicating the severity of his situation. We ended up with a deferred sentence and are so glad we had Mr. Wolf’s help. He is very reliable and accessible; it was reassuring to know we had him in our court.

— Lisa

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Jeffrey Wolf handled my traffic violation in a highly professional manner, giving it the same consideration and time as a more challenging case, during a very stressful time in my life. As soon as the accident happened, he was there to offer advice and help. He went to court for me, so I would not have to take time off of work to go. His care and concern for my well-being was top-notch. Thank you so much, Jeff!

— Carol P.

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I utilized Mr. Wolf’s services for my case. Granted each case is individual, but I was able to get my charge dismissed. Mr. Wolf worked with me and communicated with me in a timely manner, always being available for questions and/or support. His fees are reasonable and his service exemplary. I highly recommend Wolf Law if you are in need of services for criminal charges.

— Carin

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I was charged with my first DUI and was referred to Jeff by a friend of mine. He gave me a realistic expectation of what would happen and is an expert at navigating the process. Jeff is always incredibly quick to respond and is very knowledgeable. He is professional and represented me well in the courtroom. The experience of being charged with a DUI is a terrible, humiliating and challenging event – having an experienced attorney was priceless!

— Anonymous

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Jeffrey Wolf has been a beacon of hope to me when my situation seemed limited and unlikely of a positive outcome. He represented me for a DUI and as a domestic violence victim and did a phenomenal job on both. Not only was he able to defend and represent me, but his empathetic and ethical demeanor offered hope to myself and someone I truly care about. My partner and I are eternally grateful for his service, and I hereby recommend him without hesitation since I could not imagine a better result without him representing me.

— Marisabel

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Mr. Wolf is an incredible attorney to work with. My father and I have spent some time over the past 10 years with him, and have always seen fantastic results from different types of situations. He is very intelligent, honest, and diligent about any work brought his way.

I highly recommend Mr. Wolf and will call him first, anytime I need legal advice or representation!

Thank you Jeff!

— Greg

Wolf Law and Colleen Kelley are Great

Had the chance to work with Colleen Kelley and found her not only to be a great attorney, but also someone who will fight for you! Highly recommend her…

— Tom S.

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Jeff is the best attorney my husband and I have used. He actually cared about what was best for my family. He actually fought for my husband and was on his side. He listened to my husband and made us feel like he was on our side and we could trust him with my husband’s future. I suggest to anyone looking for an attorney to put your trust in Jeff, he got us the best deal ever.

— Raena

So Glad I Hired Jeff Wolf for My DUI Case

I was originally considering not hiring an attorney since this was my first DUI offense but I’m definitely glad I did. It was my first DUI but I was involved in a one-car accident and totaled my car. I started to worry about the possible consequences after reading the penalties online. I contacted Jeff’s office after reading reviews on AVVO left by other clients. From the beginning he was very straightforward regarding possible penalties and possible outcomes, and gave me the details of what he would do if I hired him.

We worked out what strategies we would use for the DMV and Court. Without going into too much detail, I have to say that I was extremely happy that I decided to hire Jeff. Immediately after hiring him I felt a lot less stress about the whole situation. He was always in contact with me every step of the process and even did things for me that I didn’t have to do myself, like my DMV hearing.

Every DUI case is different based on many different circumstances, so I can’t say that my results will be yours, however I was extremely happy with my results. He won my DMV hearing, and I didn’t lose my license and got pretty much the minimum penalties in court. Overall, I would recommend him to any family or friends who find themselves in the same situation. I have several friends who had similar situations who couldn’t believe how lucky I was to get the outcome that I did. Thank you for everything Jeff!

— Daniel G.