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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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Colleen Kelley and Wolf Law

In the past few years I have had the unfortunate circumstance of needing a criminal defense attorney. I cannot overstate how fortunate I was to have chosen Colleen Kelley. I can honestly say that without Colleen on my side that I would have been sentenced to significantly more time and more serious charges than were warranted in my situation.

Colleen is undoubtedly a major reason as to why I am free today and able to move on with rebuilding my life. I would without hesitation recommend Colleen to anyone who needs a criminal defense attorney.

— Matthew M.

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Dear Ms Kelly you have truly been a blessing to me.When this situation took place I searched and searched for a qualified attorney to represent me in fighting for my life att after att turned me towards wolf law and I told myself I wanted the best and she clearly overachieved. After doing so much for me and my family I felt I need to compensate her for what I feel was going the extra mile and she insisted that what I’ve paid was enough. That kind of integrity and dedication to your clients says a lot about wolf law. I will always be indebted to you guys thanks for everything.

— Jared T.

I Would Give Wolf Law 50 stars Out of 10 if I Could

I wanted to take a moment and give a MASSIVE THANK YOU to Wolf Law (and Colleen Kelley specifically)!

I had contacted Wolf Law recently regarding a previous offense and legal registration questions. This was for Sex Offender De-registration for the State of Colorado. After taking the time to review my case, my information, etc. etc, Wolf Law was able to take my case.

Considering the amount of time and effort involved to be removed, I am extremely grateful for Colleen Kelly/Wolf Law’s assistance in the matter.

After almost a decade, I was removed from the registry, and can now put a long chapter of my life behind me.

I would give Wolf Law 50 stars out of 10 if I could.

Again, THANK YOU Wolf Law for all your assistance and help in this matter!

I would very very very much recommend Wolf Law for your legal needs and/or situations. Please take a moment to contact them if you need to!

— Anonymous

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

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.

Jeff Helped Me Feel Safe Again

I would highly recommend attorney Jeffrey Wolf. He consistently demonstrates knowledge and professionalism, both in and out of the courtroom. His expertise helped me to understand the legal process. As a victim of domestic violence, I looked to Mr. Wolf to assist me in obtaining a restraining order. His compassion combined with skill helped me to feel safe again.  I reached a positive outcome in my case and felt informed, confident, and cared for with Mr. Wolf in my corner.

— Karen

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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

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Jeff Wolf is extremely timely, reliable, and efficient. He cares about you as more than just another case, he cares about you as a person. Jeff worked with me on my out-of-state case and went above and beyond to ensure that I received the best possible outcome.

— Anonymous

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Jeff took on 2 cases for me with complete success. He is extremely sharp and confident. Jeff really gets to know his clients and is very sympathetic to their needs.
The relationships he has with prosecutors and the judges was pure respect. When he spoke he had the ears of the courtroom. He speaks very eloquent and exudes confidence that translates into the result I was looking for, “Case Dismissed.”

I highly recommend his services. If you are need of his services you will get more than what you pay for.

— Steven L.

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Fortunately, I don’t find myself needing legal representation often…only once before have I needed an attorney. My situation was interesting…I was given a disorderly conduct summons and felt it was far beyond the pale in terms of its validity. I didn’t want this on my record and needed help navigating the legal process. I did some research on a few attorneys and read about Jeff Wolf’s practice. I called Jeff and we spoke the same day. He listened to me and I met with him a few days later. He took the time to explain his process and approach, which made sense to me and seemed to be in the right dollar range for what we were dealing with. Thankfully, my case was dismissed. Jeff took the time to show the DA that there were inconsistencies all over the place and that there was no way I was guilty…likely shouldn’t have even been issued a summons. As I said to Jeff, I hope I never have to talk with him again, but I won’t hesitate to call if need be.

— Christian