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Theft Archives - Arja Shah Law
Arizona Police use dog to search vehicle

Do Police Need a Search Warrant to Search a Car in AZ?

In Arizona, people are protected against an unlawful vehicle search or seizure by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. While the Fourth Amendment requires officers to get search warrants before they search your property, there are several exceptions to the warrant requirement that allow them to search without a search warrant.

Vehicle searches are treated differently than searches of your home,and police are generally allowed to conduct warrantless searches of vehicles as long as they have probable cause.

Several other exceptions also allow police to search vehicles without warrants, including consent, searches incident to an arrest, inventory searches, plain view searches,and searches based on reasonable suspicion. We’ll take a brief look at each of these exceptions below.

Warrantless Searches Based on Probable Cause

In 1925, the U.S. Supreme Court established the mobile conveyance exception to the search warrant requirement in Carroll v. United States. In their decision, Supreme Court distinguished vehicles from homes, noting that vehicles can easily be moved away from a traffic stop, and evidence could be destroyed.

As long as police have probable cause, they can search your car without a warrant under the mobile conveyance exception without it being considered an unlawful search.

An officer has probable cause when a reasonably prudent person in the same situation would believe that evidence of a crime is likely located inside of a vehicle. However, only the areas in which the suspected evidence would likely be located can be searched.

For example, if a police officer has probable cause to believe that you stole your neighbor’s 60-inch television and that it is likely hidden in your car, he or she can search your vehicle’s trunk. However, the officer would not have probable cause to search your glove box since a television would not fit inside.

If a police officer pulled you over for a minor traffic violation, he or she will generally not have probable cause to support a warrantless search of your vehicle. However, if your conduct following the stop allows the officer to develop probable cause that evidence might be located in your vehicle, he or she can search without a warrant.

Consider this, if you are stopped for speeding, the officer will not be able to search your car based only on that. However, if he or she smells alcohol on your breath, he or she can search your car for open containers of alcohol.

Click to Learn More About Search Warrant to Search Your Car…

White collar crime attorney in Arizona

What is White Collar Crime in Arizona?

Unlike most other crimes, white collar crimes are often difficult to detect and not as out in the open and blatant as something like armed robbery, for example, which is easy to get caught for and generally much easier for the prosecution to prove in a court of law. However, when it comes to white collar crimes that involve embezzlement, the laundering of money, or extortion, the charges are in most cases not as obvious — but that absolutely does not mean that being charged with white collar crime comes with lesser charges — in fact, the penalties, fines, and other sentencing can be just as severe if not worse in some cases.

White collar crimes involve many different types of charges not only in Arizona, but also on the federal level. Our Arizona based law firm, the Shah Law Firm, has years of experience representing people with these cases. Our white-collar crime attorneys in Phoenix understand how to defend against these charges and to investigate cases thoroughly for our clients. We offer no-cost legal consultations to those interested in learning more about our expertise and services.

White Collar Crime Defined

In the most basic sense, white collar crime is one in which there was no violence used, and the perpetrator of the crime had something financial to gain by committing the crime. Most frequently investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or the FBI, white collar crime is typically characterized by the concealment of the truth, or through violation of trust through deceit in any number of forms. And, in most instances, the motivation for white collar crime is the financial gain on the part of the perpetrator of the crime.

Click to Learn More about White Collar Crime Charges and Representation in Arizona…

unemployment fraud in AZ

Unemployment Insurance Fraud Charges in Arizona

Unemployment insurance fraud is a serious criminal offense in the State of Arizona. This is a Class 6 felony where someone misrepresents or fails to disclose facts or makes false statements to get or increase their unemployment insurance benefits. If you make a false statement or withhold information knowingly to collect these benefits, you could face civil or criminal charges.

Penalties for Unemployment Insurance Fraud

Unemployment Insurance Fraud in Arizona In the state of Arizona, unemployment fraud is a serious charge that carries with it some hefty penalties, including as much as two years in prison and fines up to $150,000 for each individual false statement made to the state of Arizona. That means, for example, if you received five weeks of unemployment insurance of which you were not legally entitles, those five weeks will each be considered by the court as a separate false statement for which you could be sentenced up to 10 years in prison.

Click to Learn More about Unemployment Insurance Fraud Charges…

Theft Crimes in Arizona

Arizona’s definition of theft is to intentionally take someone’s personal property without a legal right to the property, or consent to take the property by the owner. If you have been arrested or charged with theft in Arizona, this is a serious charge and can range from a misdemeanor to felony theft. Understanding the different types of theft crimes in Arizona and what the penalties are can help you build a strong case for your defense.

Definition of Theft in Arizona

If a person has knowingly and with intention taken someone else’s property without the legal right to do so, it is considered theft under Arizona state law. Some examples of theft include:

  • Taking someone’s property for an unauthorized period of time
  • Committing fraud to take another’s property
  • Taking lost property without making a reasonable effort to locate the original and proper owner
  • Controlling someone’s property without the intention of returning it
  • Taking goods or services with no intent to pay

The landscape of criminal law regarding theft crimes is complex and challenging, and ever-changing. Contacting an experienced defense attorney if you have been charged with any theft crime, even a minor one, can help you understand your rights, and provide you the legal representation that can help your case.

Misdemeanor Theft vs. Felony Theft in Arizona

The dollar amount and value of the item stolen will determine whether the case is prosecuted as a misdemeanor or felony in the state of Arizona. Typically, the higher the dollar amount, the higher the penalties. If any item stolen exceeds $1000 it will likely be classified as a felony. Exceptions to this law exist for stealing a firearm or animal. Additionally, if there are violent circumstances surrounding the theft, harsher penalties are typically requested.

Unique Types of Theft

While most people consider theft to include shoplifting, burglary, or embezzlement, there are other types of theft that are common and can deprive owners of substantial sums of money.

  • Trade Secret Theft. Arizona businesses work hard to create unique services or products. Under Arizona Criminal Code Section 13-1820 if any person steals a trade secret and then attempts to sell that trade secret for profit, it is considered a class 5 felony.
  • Identity Theft Identity theft continues to grow as a criminal offense throughout the United States, and also in Arizona. If someone uses a person’s personal information without consent, permission or approval, it is considered identity theft. The Federal Identity Theft Law can be found at 18 U.S.C. § 1028 and is considered a class 4 felony in Arizona.

Contact an Experienced Theft Lawyer

Being charged or arrested for a theft crime is a serious matter, and Arizona has harsh and strict penalties for any crime involving theft. While this may be a frightening and overwhelming time, your first step should be to seek legal representation. Criminal law involving theft is complex, and theft crimes can range from misdemeanors to third-degree felonies. You need a theft lawyer that not only understands the law but will be dedicated to defending you and helping you either negotiate, settle, or defend your case.
Our firm’s founder, Arja Shah, will aggressively advocate for your rights. If you have been arrested or charged with a theft crime, contact Ms. Shah at (602) 888-0369 or by filling out the law firm’s online form.

How Theft Charges Defense Can Help You in Apache Junction

At Shah Law Firm PLLC, we have an expert theft charges defense team with years of experience representing those facing these charges in Arizona. Our skilled criminal defense legal team understands theft laws in Arizona and the legal process, and work diligently to craft the best possible defense for our clients, protecting their rights every step of the way.

Understanding Theft

Theft means taking another person’s property without their permission. Theft describes crimes such as robbery, larceny, and burglary. Someone commits theft in Apache Junction when they steal another person’s belongings with the intent to resell them to make money. This can apply to non-tangible things such as social security or credit card numbers. Regardless of the situation, an action is theft if someone steals something that isn’t theirs. The severity of the theft charge varies based on the total value of the stolen item/s.

Penalties Associated with Theft

Theft of anything worth less than $1,000 is a misdemeanor, which can carry a jail sentence of six months. Anything from $1,000 to $2,000 is a Class 6 felony resulting in up to two years of prison. Anything over that amount could lead up to 12 ½ years in prison. Our theft charges defense team can investigate your case and determine if there are any factors that can lead to reduced or dismissed charges.

Schedule a Free Legal Consultation with Our Theft Charges Defense Team in Apache Junction, Arizona

At Shah Law Firm PLLC, we offer a no-cost legal consultation to potential clients facing theft charges in and around Apache Junction. During this conversation, we discuss the details of your case and offer you legal advice. To schedule this important consultation, call our Arizona law firm at (602) 888-0369 today.

We serve individuals in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Goodyear and Apache Junction, Arizona.

Contact Arja Today to Learn How She Can Help You!

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