In 1967, Colorado government decided to combine Embezzlement, Larceny, Stealing, Shoplifting, False Pretenses, and Confidence Games into one category called “Theft Crimes.” As a result, Embezzlement is no longer an independent crime in Larimer, Boulder, or Grand County. It now falls under the Theft statute.
What Was the Difference Between Embezzlement and Larceny?
Embezzlement and Larceny crimes are technically different based on circumstances. Prior to 1967, if a person who managed the money of a Fort Collins Law Firm took some of the business’ money without permission, this would have been considered Embezzlement. If a lawyer who worked at the firm, but who had no control over the money or money management, took some money without permission, this would have been considered Larceny. While both crimes involve taking money from the same law firm, the role each alleged thief played in regards to managing the firm’s money decided which crime they would have been charged with.
What Happens with These Charges Today?
Now that Colorado has lumped all these charges into “Theft Crimes” it no longer matters what the circumstances of the theft are. Larimer County District Attorneys will charge you with Theft no matter your relationship or the situation behind the stealing. In Loveland and Estes Park, the law defines Theft – C.R.S. 18-4-401 – as taking an item of value that doesn’t belong to you without the owner’s permission and with the intent of never giving the item back. The level of felony or misdemeanor you will get charged with depends on the value of the item taken. If you took $30,000 (in cash, credit card refunds or checks), you would be charged by a felony complaint with a class 4 felony. However, if you took $1,000 it would be charged as a class 1 misdemeanor by summons.
Sentences for Theft Cases in Larimer County
Because Theft can be charged as a petty offense all the way up to a class 2 felony, the sentences can range from probation to prison time. The employer – employee relationship is not necessary with a Theft charge as it was with an Embezzlement charge. However, Judges do see employer theft as more serious than stranger theft because of the trust relationship involved. During sentencing, a Judge may be more likely to inflict harsher punishments if it is an employer theft case. Another part of sentencing will be restitution – paying the victim for what was lost. Restitution is always an important aspect of Theft cases because the District Attorneys see it as a way to help “make the victim whole” and bring justice.
Good people make mistake and facing the consequences
of your mistakes can be scary, but don’t be afraid.
Why You Need A Lawyer for Your Theft Charges
Hiring an experienced and trustworthy attorney early can help minimize the consequences involved with this crime. Sometimes, if restitution is paid quickly, we are able to get the charges dismissed or get a deferred sentence. Good people make mistake and facing the consequences of your mistakes can be scary, but don’t be afraid. Our attorneys have fought hundreds of court battles and are prepared to be at your side every step of the way.