Wondering what you should know about Utah Retail Theft Laws? Utah law regarding crimes against property are found in Utah Code Ann. 76-6-101 (2020). Specifically the common “shoplifting” or Retail Theft charges are found at Utah Code Ann. Title 76 Part 4 (Theft) and 6 (Retail Theft) (2020).
The classic shoplifting from the convenience store or grocery store, is just one type of theft charge in Utah. This makes it necessary for you to understand all Utah Theft Laws. Some are charged commonly, some are rarely charged.
Classic Theft 76-6-404 (2020)
Theft of Motor Vehicle Fuel 76-6-404.7 (2020)
Theft by Deception 76-6-405 (2020)
Theft by Extortion 76-6-406 (2020)
Theft of Lost Mislaid, or Mistakenly Delivered Property 76-6-407 (2020)
Receiving Stolen Property 76-6-408 (2020)s
Theft of Services 76-6-409 (2020)
Theft of Utility or Cable Television Services 76-6-409.3 (2020)
Classic Retail Theft 76-6-602 (2020)
Theft by Person Having Custody of Property Pursuant to Repair or Rental Agreement 76-6-410; and
Theft of a rental vehicle 76-6-410.5
Due to the long list of different kinds of thefts that you can one day, or possibly already have been a victim or accused of, It can be vital for you to consult with an attorney so you better understand each kind of theft and the Utah Retail Theft Laws surrounding them. This article will help you navigate your Utah Theft Laws, including the seriousness of theft regarding misdemeanor and felony charges.
CLASS A MISDEMEANOR: BETWEEN $500 AN $S1,500
(i) the value of the property stolen is or exceeds $500 but is less than $1,500 or
the value of property or services is less than $500 AND the theft occurs on a property where the offender has committed any theft within the past five years; and the offender has received written notice from the merchant prohibiting the offender from entering the property pursuant to Subsection 78B-3-108(4); or
(ii) the actor has been twice before convicted of any of the certain prior theft offenses, if each prior offense was committed within 10 years before the date of the current conviction or the date of the offense upon which the current conviction is based.
(I) if the value of the property stolen is less than $500 and the theft is not an offense under Subsection (1)(c). This is the most commonly seen theft charge in Utah. A Class B Misdemeanor is charged almost exclusively in a Utah justice court.
Wondering how serious the case of theft is? Utah Retail Theft of items that cost over $1,500 can be charged as a Felony. Here are the Retail Theft penalties breakdowns:
(i) value of the property or services is or exceeds $5,000 or,
(ii) property stolen is a firearm or an operable motor vehicle; or
(iii) property is stolen from the person of another.
(i) the value of the property or services is or exceeds $1,500 but is less than $5,000, or
(ii) the value of the property or services is or exceeds $500 and the actor has been twice before convicted of any of the following offenses, if each prior offense was committed within 10 years before the date of the current conviction or the date of the offense upon which the current conviction is based and at least one of those convictions is for a class A misdemeanor:
(A) any theft, any robbery, or any burglary with intent to commit theft;
(B) any offense under Title 76, Chapter 6, Part 5, Fraud; or
(C) any attempt to commit any offense under Subsection (1)(b)(ii)(A) or (B);
What happens if I am accused of breaking Utah Retail Theft Laws?
Often people accused of Utah Retail Theft will receive letters from the store where the items were allegedly stolen from. Utah law allows for the victimized merchants to sue for the actual costs of the stolen items along with reasonable attorney fees and a fine between $100 and $500, plus court costs. Parents can also be jointly liable for their kids conduct up to a capped money amount. Don’t ignore these letters if you receive one. Consult an attorney for your Utah Retail Theft Laws particular to the accusations against you.
When any item is stolen and you are found guilty of Retail Theft you will have to return the item or reimburse the store for the item. This is called paying restitution. See this article on restitution. The store or owner will sometimes choose a value number that favors them, and is overpriced. A Utah Retail Theft attorney can help the court see the correct value for restitution purposes.
Further, if you don’t pay restitution, your case will not close successfully. As of 2020, any criminal case where restitution has not been fully paid, the case will not close successfully. If your case does not close successfully you will not be eligible for an expungement later on. See this exhaustive article on expungements and rule 402 reductions.
The severity of a Utah Retail Theft Law charges depends on how much the items costs, or how you allegedly stole the items and which items were taken. As you can see above, it’s a 2nd Degree Felony if the value of the goods taken exceeds $5,000. It’s a Class B Misdemeanor if the value of the goods stolen were under $500.
Many times the value of the goods stolen is in hot dispute. The prosecuting attorney has the burden to show that the items taken were indeed at the correct money threshold to constitute the degree of Retail Theft charged. This means that you could be charged with a more serious offense if the value of the stolen item is deemed worth more than is accurate. The defense attorney can hire an expert witness to value the services or goods taken as a defense to Retail Theft and it’s true worth.
Retail Theft can be charged as either a Class B, Class A Misdemeanor, or 3rd or 2nd Degree Felony. Each level of charge has a different expungement waiting period. Class B Misdemeanors have a 4 years waiting period before you can apply to have your criminal records sealed and expunged. Class A has 5 years. 3rd and 2nd Degree Felony have 7 year waiting periods.
The waiting period doesn’t start until your case is closed, not when you are sentenced or plead guilty. If you don’t successfully complete your case you can never get an expungement. You can generally close your case by paying your restitution. So make sure your restitution and fines are paid and not sent to state debt collection.
Most likely, you will need a Utah Retail Theft Attorney to counsel and defend you relating to the above Utah Theft Laws. To navigate your case and receive an expert defense, call Utah theft defense attorney Jake Gunter for free consultation regarding your charges. (801) 373 6345. Provocriminaldefense.com. Provolawyers.com.