2013 Colorado State Legislature Rewrites Colorado’s Theft Laws Amending The Penalties HB 13-1160
By Colorado Theft Crimes Criminal Defense Lawyer – H. Michel Steinberg
Quietly this month – the Colorado state legislature decreased the possible penalties for theft crimes – by increasing the jurisdictional limits that enable law enforcement authorities to charge certain theft crimes.
The new law – while increasing the jurisdictional amounts necessary to charge misdemeanor to felony theft also takes other offenses of theft such as theft of rental property (18-4-402 Theft of rental property) and theft by receiving (18-4-410 Theft by receiving) and merges them into the primary statute – CRS 18-4-410. The law also totally removes (repeals) the crimes of fuel piracy, and newspaper theft.
Here Is Colorado’s NEW Theft Law and The New Penalty Structure
§ 18-4-401. Theft
(1) A person commits theft when he or she 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 or believes to have been stolen,
(a) Intends to deprive the other person permanently of the use or benefit of the thing of value;
(b) Knowingly uses, conceals, or abandons the thing of value in such manner as to deprive the other person permanently of its use or benefit;
(c) Uses, conceals, or abandons the thing of value intending that such use, concealment, or abandonment will deprive the other person permanently of its use or benefit;
(d) Demands any consideration to which he or she is not legally entitled as a condition of restoring the thing of value to the other person; or
(e) Knowingly retains the thing of value more than seventy-two hours after the agreed-upon time of return in any lease or hire agreement.
(1.5) For the purposes of this section, a thing of value is that of “another” if anyone other than the defendant has a possessory or proprietary interest therein.
(2) Theft is:
(b) A class 1 petty offense if the value of the thing involved is less than fifty dollars;
(c) A class 3 misdemeanor if the value of the thing involved is fifty dollars or more but less than three hundred dollars;
(d) A class 2 misdemeanor if the value of the thing involved is three hundred dollars or more but less than seven hundred fifty dollars;
(e) A class 1 misdemeanor if the value of the thing involved is seven hundred fifty dollars or more but less than two thousand dollars;
(f) A class 6 felony if the value of the thing involved is two thousand dollars or more but less than five thousand dollars;
(g) A class 5 felony if the value of the thing involved is five thousand dollars or more but less than twenty thousand dollars;
(h) A class 4 felony if the value of the thing involved is twenty thousand dollars or more but less than one hundred thousand dollars;
(i) A class 3 felony if the value of the thing involved is one hundred thousand dollars or more but less than one million dollars; and
(j) A class 2 felony if the value of the thing involved is one million dollars or more.
H. Michael’s Take:
This change in Colorado’s Theft Law was long overdue.. The old law permitted felony charges to be filed if the value of an item taken was only $1,000.00. Now – to reach the lowest felony level the minimum amount has been doubled to $2,000.00… and the level of felony that can be charged is the lowest felony – and F-6 …a much more realistic appraisal of the costs of goods sold in 2013.
To reach the LEVEL 4 felony (F-4) under the old law ( possible punishment 2 to 6 years in prison – the $1,000.00 level was the jurisdictional minimum. Today it is $20,000.00 or TWENTY TIMES the old floor.
The new law allows more cases to go to trial – without the risk of a permanent felony conviction.. H