Defining Larceny Under Arizona Law
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In this post, Coolidge Law Firm (serving the greater Phoenix-Metro area), would like to define larceny under Arizona Law. First, larceny is simply the legal term for theft. Second, as with many crimes, larceny can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony under Arizona law.
How is Larceny Defined Under Arizona Law?
In order to define larceny under Arizona law, we’ll first need to clarify a few other terms.
- Property: Anything of value, whether tangible or intangible.
- Value: Unless otherwise defined, the courts are speaking about market value when they use the term value.
- Control: The act of excluding another person from the use of their own property.
Having defined these terms, we should have an easier time understanding the following scenarios of larceny under criminal code A.R.S. § 13-1820. Each of these types of larceny must be committed knowingly and without lawful authority in order to be considered larceny.
- Controlling property of another with the intent to deprive the other person of such property (i.e., stealing a car).
- Using someone else’s property that was entrusted to you, for an unauthorized amount of time. (i.e., your friend loans you his bicycle for a month, and after a month you decide to keep it after he asks for it back).
- Obtaining services or property of another by means of fraud with the intent to deprive the other person of such property or services (i.e., picking up a piece of furniture from Costco paid for by Sean Smith under the guise that you are Sean Smith, but you are not Sean Smith).
- Coming into control of lost, mislaid or misdelivered property of another without a reasonable effort to notify the true owner (i.e., you found an iPhone at a restaurant and without an effort to find the owner or turn it in, you keep it as your own).
- Controlling the property of another knowing, or having reason to know, that the property was stolen (i.e., your friend tells you she stole a bike, and you take the bike from her and use it).
- Obtaining compensable goods or services without paying for them, or diverting another’s services to your benefit, or another’s benefit, without authority to do so (i.e., using WiFi in your home from a company or another person’s account without paying for it).
There are a few other larceny categories that relate to ferrous material, which can be found here.
How is The Crime Of Larceny Charged Under Arizona Law?
As you can see, there are a variety of ways to commit larceny under Arizona law. Let’s break down the charges. You can be charged with a:
- Class 1 Misdemeanor (or petty theft) when the value of what was stolen does not exceed $1,000.
- Class 6 Felony when the value of what was stolen is between $1,000-$2,000.
- Class 5 Felony when the value of what was stolen is between $2,000-$3,000.
- Class 4 Felony when the value of what was stolen is between $3,000 -$4,000.
- Class 3 Felony when the value of what was stolen is between $4,000-$25,000.
- Class 2 Felony when the value of what was stolen exceeds $25,000.
The severity of the charge may also be influenced by extenuating circumstances such as assault, or in the event that the stolen property was a firearm or an animal.
If you, or someone you know, has been charged with larceny under Arizona law, whether misdemeanor or class 2 felony, contact Coolidge Law Firm today. We have over 25 years of experience in criminal law, and we know how to prepare the best defense for your case. We’re tough, we’re thorough, and we care.