Experienced Davis County Theft and Shoplifting Defense Lawyer
In Utah, a person commits theft if he or she procures or exercises unauthorized control over the property of another individual with the intent to deprive him or her of said property. Put simply, theft is stealing, and if you take someone else’s property with the intent of not giving it back, you may face criminal charges. If you or someone you know has been charged with a property crime (i.e. theft/shoplifting), contact an experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer at Jardine Law Offices, P.C. for a free consultation about your legal options.
Types of Theft
Utah state law contains numerous types of theft offenses, including grand theft auto, theft by extortion, theft by deception, theft of services, theft of utilities (i.e. cable or television services) and theft of a rental vehicle. Utah, like many other states throughout the county, classifies theft offenses in accordance with the value of the property or services stolen. Utah also classifies a few theft offenses according to the type of property taken, regardless of value (i.e. firearms).
Misdemeanor Theft Penalties
In the state of Utah, theft of property or services valued at less than $500 is considered a class B misdemeanor, with punishments including imprisonment not exceeding six months and a fine up to $1,000. Theft of property or services valued at more than $500 (but less than $1,500) is considered a class A misdemeanor and the punishment often includes imprisonment not exceeding one year and a fine up to $2,500.
Felony Theft Penalties
Theft of property or services valued at more than $1,500 (but less than $5,000) is considered a third degree felony under Utah state law. Utah considers a theft to be a third degree felony if, within the past decade, the defendant has twice been convicted of any kind of actual (or attempted) theft, robbery, fraud, or burglary with intent to commit theft. Punishment for a third degree felony in Utah includes imprisonment not exceeding five years and a fine up to $5,000.
Additionally, theft of property or services valued at more than $5,000 is considered a second degree felony in the state of Utah. Other theft offenses classified as a second degree felony in Utah — regardless of the value of the property stolen — include theft of a gun or automobile, as well as any theft committed while the offender is armed with a firearm.
Civil Penalties for Theft Under Utah State Law
Regardless of criminal penalties, you may also be civilly liable to the owner of the stolen property (a shop owner, for example) if the monetary damages are returned in poor (i.e. unsellable) condition. You may also be required to compensate the owner of the property for whatever legal fees they incurred in bringing forth their lawsuit. It is important to remember that even parents or legal guardians of an underage perpetrator who commits a shoplifting offense may be civilly liable in certain cases.