Different Theft Charges
“Theft” can describe many different specific types of crime. In Utah, each of the following has it’s own criminal statute:
- Simple Theft
- Wrongful Appropriation
- Theft of Motor Vehicle Fuel
- Theft by Deception
- Theft by Extortion
- Theft of Lost, Mislaid, or Mistakenly Delivered Property
- Theft of Services
- Theft of Utility or Cable Services
- Theft of a Rental Vehicle
How Serious is a Theft Charge
In general, the seriousness of a theft crime depends on the value of what was taken and prior convictions. When based on value alone (no priors), it goes like this:
- $500 or less: Misdemeanor B
- $500-$1,500: Misdemeanor A
- $1,500-$5,000: 3rd Degree Felony
- $5,000 or more: 2nd Degree Felony
Note: For Theft by Appropriation, the seriousness is one level below whatever the table above shows.
There are some odd rules hidden within the Utah theft statutes, most likely resulting from particular business interests that have some clout in the legislature for whatever reason. For instance, taking a “stallion, mare, colt, gelding, cow, heifer, steer, ox, bull, calf, sheep, goat, mule, jack, jenny, swine, poultry, or a fur-bearing animal raised for commercial purposes” will get you charged with a second-degree felony, even if that swine is only worth $50.
Theft as a Crime of “Moral Turpitude”
Whatever Theft crime you’re been charged with, you should be aware that even a misdemeanor theft conviction on your record can have some serious consequences for your future. Unlike a misdemeanor traffic offense or minor-in-possession, a theft crime is typically considered a “crime of moral turpitude.” In other words, it is often considered evidence of dishonest behavior which might effect future career prospects and state licensing.
Theft Defense Attorney for Salt Lake City or Elsewhere in Utah
A good defense attorney can help you get the best result possible in your case and avoid some of the serious collateral consequences of a theft charge. Contact me for a free consultation about your situation.
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Content by Dain Smoland (Google+)