The state of Colorado adheres to the American principal that to own and control one’s property is a fundamental right. Because of this, state laws treat theft as a serious violation, and stiff penalties are imposed for offenses such as motor vehicle theft. While some instances of theft in Colorado are treated as misdemeanors, the increased value of motor vehicles makes stealing a car a felony in most cases. Such crimes expose defendants to particularly harsh penalties, and without a successful felony defense, convictions of motor vehicle theft felony could result in the loss of rights, such as the ability to own a gun.
A car theft offense charge will involve a violation of Colorado Revised Statutes section 18-4-401, which addresses theft generally. The general theft statute punishes a person who “knowingly obtains or exercises control over anything of value of another without authorization, or by threat or deception” with no intention of ever returning it. The statute applies whether the stolen object is taken and used, hid or even abandoned. Colorado’s theft statute bases the potential jail sentence on the value of the stolen object. Stealing property valued at between $750 and $2,000 results in a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Motor Vehicle Theft Value
Typically, vehicles will be valued at more than $2,000, exposing the defendant to felony charges. If the stolen vehicle is worth between $2,000 and $5,000, the potential penalty is 12 to 18 months in prison. If the vehicle is worth between $20,000 and $100,000, the potential sentence for that Class 4 felony is between two and six years in jail.
In many cases, stealing a vehicle may also involve a violation of Colorado Revised Statutes section 18-4-409, which details aggravated motor vehicle theft felony. This type of theft applies if the defendant retained possession of the vehicle for more than 24 hours, attempted to alter the appearance of the car or its vehicle identification number, used the vehicle in another crime or caused at least $500 in property damage while stealing the car. A conviction under this charge is considered a felony and can add multiple years to a jail sentence.
FELONY CHARGES ARE COMPLICATED AND DAUNTING. WE ARE HERE TO HELP.
Due to the harsh consequences that accompany motor vehicle theft in Colorado, it is important to consult a dedicated and experienced defense law firm. The Colorado Springs motor vehicle theft defense attorneys at The Kohn Law Firm have the knowledge and insight to fight for the rights of those accused of theft and other offenses. It is imperative you take action immediately. If you or someone you know is facing potential felony charges in Colorado Springs, contact the criminal defense lawyers at The Kohn Law Firm anytime at 719-328-9555. Don’t wait, time is of the essence. Book your FREE, confidential, no-obligation consultation today.