Colorado Theft Defense Attorney Experienced Defending Theft, Larceny, Burglary, and Grand Theft

Serving Aspen, The Vail Valley, and All of Western Colorado

Being charged with theft or shoplifting can have very serious consequences. Depending on the amount you are accused of stealing, you may face felony charges, which come with serious fines and jail time. Do not waste a single minute if you have been charged with theft. You need to call the law offices of Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C., to schedule a consultation.

I am Colorado theft defense attorney Mark S. Rubinstein. I have more than 20 years of experience in battling criminal charges filed against my clients. If you have been charged with theft of any kind, contact my law firm online or call 970-704-0888, or 1-855-704-0888 toll-free, to schedule a free consultation.

Theft Offenses

Theft is, at the most basic level, the act of taking something that belongs to someone else. There are a variety of theft crimes, ranging from shoplifting to major fraud and embezzlement crimes. Common theft charges include:

  • Theft from employer
  • Shoplifting
  • Burglary
  • Robbery
  • Fraudulent use of a credit card
  • Auto theft

Here are some additional details about the most common theft charges seen by Colorado larceny attorneys.


This typically entails someone taking items from a store or retail business without paying for them. Shoplifting may seem like a minor charge. When people think of shoplifting, they often envision high school kids getting their kicks by stealing lipstick or other minor items from a local store. But shoplifting charges can be serious, depending on the value of items taken.


Defenses to the charge of shoplifting can involve mistakes. In other words, the person thought they paid for the item or was otherwise unaware that they did not pay. Or perhaps you did actually pay but store security mistakenly thought that you did not. And as always, if the police confiscated evidence illegally, your lawyer can challenge all the evidence against you and possibly get the case dismissed.


Our state law codifies three levels of burglary charges in the Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated Section 18-4-202 through C.R.S. Section 18-4-204. Although the definition of each degree of burglary varies, in essence burglary is the act of entering into any locked building, structure, or container for the purpose of committing a crime. The charge of burglary applies whether the crime you intend to commit once inside is theft of property or assault to a person. Frequently, prosecutors combine burglary charges with the underlying offense the defendant intended to commit once inside the locked structure. For instance, if you break into someone’s home to steal their entertainment system, the prosecutor will likely charge you with two crimes: burglary and theft.


When you hire an experienced Colorado burglary lawyer to defend you, they will investigate and create the strongest defense strategy possible under the given facts. Examples of burglary defenses include (but are not limited to):

  • You had permission and entered the property lawfully;
  • You did not know that your presence on the property in question was unlawful; or
  • You had no intent to commit a crime while on the property.

Discussing these defenses with your legal practitioner early in the process can save you extended grief down the road and potentially save you from a criminal conviction.


The crime of robbery is codified in Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated Section 18-4-301. As opposed to other theft charges, the distinguishing element of robbery is taking something of value from someone using force, threats, or intimidation. This element makes the act of robbery more dangerous than other forms of theft. Therefore, judges and prosecutors take robbery allegations very seriously. In fact, there are three different types of robbery:

  • Simple robbery;
  • Aggravated robbery which involves the use or threat of use of a weapon; and
  • Aggravated robbery of controlled substances.

These crimes are listed above in order of increasing severity.


Possible defenses to a charge of robbery can be that:

  • You did not actually use force, threats, or intimidation to take property;
  • You had no intent to steal or take anything;
  • You had a good faith belief that the items you attempted to take actually belonged to you;
  • You may have possessed a weapon, but you did not intend to use it; or
  • You did not possess a weapon at all.

And as always, if police collected the evidence against you in violation of your constitutional rights, then we can move to exclude that evidence on the basis of illegal search and seizure.

I have been defending clients against theft charges for many years. I will listen to your story, investigate the evidence and interview witnesses and other important parties to the case. You can rely on me to keep you informed of my progress, as well as take an aggressive approach to plea negotiation and trial.

Penalties for Theft

Colorado has prescribed penalties for theft offenses ranging from a $250 fine to 12 years in prison and up to $750,000 in fines, depending on the amount of the theft. If you are facing theft charges, do not hesitate; it is vitally important that you hire a Colorado theft defense lawyer. I will start getting the facts of your case together today so we can plan your defense.

Direct Penalties

Value of Property Charges Sentence
Less than $500 Class 2 misdemeanor 3 months to 1 year in jail and $250- $1,000 in fines
$500- $1,000 Class 1 misdemeanor 6-18 months in jail and $500- $5,000 in fines
$1,000- $20,000 Class 4 felony 2- 6 years in prison and $2,000- $500,000 in fines
More than $20,000 Class 3 felony 4- 12 years in prison and $3,000- $750,000 in fines


These are the direct penalties that judges can impose upon you when you are convicted of a theft crime. As you can see, these penalties can be extremely serious. But even if your offense is a misdemeanor, there are collateral consequences of taking a plea.

Collateral Consequences

Indirect or collateral consequences of theft charges may include:

  • Difficulty obtaining employment in the future because of your criminal record;
  • Problems obtaining a place to live since landlords tend to frown upon renting to those with criminal convictions;
  • Restrictions on your right to bear arms;
  • Termination of your voting rights, either temporarily or permanently; and
  • Difficulty obtaining professional licenses.

These are just some of the potential indirect consequences of theft convictions in Tennessee. This is why it is so critical to speak to an experienced Colorado larceny lawyer. We can assess the facts of your case and plan your defense so that you might avoid both direct and collateral consequences.

Other Practice Areas

In addition to offering theft defense, we also represent victims for the following criminal defense matters:

Contact a Colorado Theft Crimes Attorney

People from all walks of life get charged with theft. The reason people resort to such action is diverse, and many times, the State charges people who actually did nothing wrong. And time is of the essence in such cases.

After the prosecutor files charges, they go to work gathering evidence against you. You need someone in your corner from day one who pays attention to the evidence as it comes in. Challenging the State’s evidence can be critical to having your case dismissed, evidence excluded, or simply giving you leverage to barter a good plea deal. I can help. As your attorney, I will thoroughly investigate your case, protect your rights, and work tirelessly to minimize any direct or collateral consequences you face.

I serve clients all across Western Colorado. If you have been charged with a theft crime in Colorado, contact my law offices online or call 970-704-0888 (1-855-704-0888 toll-free) to schedule a consultation. We will discuss your case and plan our next steps.