Mesa Theft and Fraud Defense Attorney


Theft and fraud are some of the most common criminal cases in Mesa, Arizona, but there’s nothing commonplace about them. Both charges carry a maximum penalty of a class 2 felony, which could mean a significant prison sentence and life-altering consequences.

If you’re facing charges for theft or fraud in Mesa, Arizona, the criminal defense team at Jackson White Law is here to assist you. Our seasoned criminal defense attorneys bring decades of experience to the table, which we’ll leverage to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.

Since its inception, the criminal defense team at Jackson White has secured thousands of positive outcomes for our clients, including dismissed and reduced charges. To see how we can help you next, call our office today at (480) 467-4370  or tell us about your case for a free consultation.

Theft and Fraud Charges in Mesa, Arizona 

Theft and fraud are separate offenses with legal implications in Arizona. It’s essential that individuals understand these differences between charges as well as potential penalties associated with each. Below is a brief outline of what qualifies as theft in the state.

Theft Charges:

According to Arizona Revised Statute 13-1802, theft occurs when an individual intentionally engages in any of the following without lawful authority:

  • Controlling another’s property with the intent to deprive them of it; utilizing property or services beyond what was agreed-upon in an authorized usage contract (such as keeping a borrowed car past its agreed-upon timeframe);
  • Receiving services or property by means of material misrepresentation with the intention to deprive another of it. Failing to take reasonable efforts when taking control of lost, mislaid, or misdelivered property and failing to notify its true owner within reasonable timescales.
  • Controlling property which you know or have reason to believe has been stolen. Gaining services without paying or agreeing to pay. Shifting another’s services without proper authorisation.
  • Controlling ferrous or nonferrous metals belonging to another with the intent of depriving their owner. Utilising ferrous and nonferrous metals which you know or have reason to suspect were stolen as part of your normal business operations.

Exploitation occurs when someone uses their trust and confidence in order to take possession of property belonging to vulnerable adults with the intention of depriving the owner.

theft requires an intentional act, without due authority, to take control of property or services without authority or knowledge. Simply leaving a store without paying or possessing stolen items without knowledge does not constitute theft.

Possessing proper authority, such as permission from the owner, can help protect against theft charges. For example, borrowing your father’s car with his permission and valid driver’s license would not constitute theft charges.

Penalties for Theft in Arizona

In Arizona, the penalty for theft ranges from a class 1 misdemeanor to a class 2 felony. The charge will depend on the value of the stolen property, and is based on the following table:

Criminal Charge Value of Stolen Property/Services
Class 1 misdemeanor Less than $1,000
Class 6 felony $1,000 to $2,000
Class 5 felony $2,000 to $3,000
Class 4 felony $3,000 to $4,000
Class 3 felony $4,000 to $25,000
Class 2 felony $25,000 or more

There are two notable exceptions where monetary value doesn’t matter. First, when the stolen item is a vehicle engine or transmission, it’s always a class 4 felony. Second, when the stolen item is a firearm or an animal taken for the purpose of animal fighting, the minimum penalty is a class 6 felony.


Fraud refers to any activity wherein someone intentionally obtains something by misrepresenting or falsifying facts. Criminal fraud cases are commonplace throughout Arizona’s criminal courts and include:

bankruptcy fraud, healthcare fraud, immigration fraud and insurance fraud. Other schemes of fraudulent activity that involve Medicare/Social Security fraud could include Ponzi schemes as well as securities fraud — among many other forms.

Telemarketing scams

Under Section 13 of the Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS 13-2310), criminal fraud is defined as any action which results in gain through false pretenses, representations, promises or material omissions with intent to defraud. This includes Telemarketing Scams which involve receiving money by making false claims through deceptive telemarketing calls aimed at drawing them in to join.

Fraud can encompass an array of deceptive practices, with penalties depending on the nature and severity of each fraudulent act. If you’re facing allegations or have concerns related to fraud laws in Arizona, seeking legal advice from an experienced attorney would be highly advised in order to receive accurate advice based on current legislation and interpretations is key for staying out of trouble.

Penalties for Fraud in Arizona

Unlike the tiered system you’ll see with theft charges in Arizona, fraud charges are always considered a class 2 felony. Furthermore, when the case involves opioids or the value of defrauded benefits exceeds $100,000, the defendant is not eligible for suspension of sentence, probation, pardon or early release.

Theft and Fraud Criminal Defense Attorney in Mesa

Whether you’re facing charges of theft, fraud, or both, working with an experienced criminal defense attorney is the best way to ensure a favorable outcome. The criminal defense team at Jackson White will assess your case to determine the best way forward, which could involve proving your innocence in court, convincing the prosecutor to drop the charges against you, or negotiating a deal that ensures minimal sentencing.

Free Theft and Fraud Case Reviews in Mesa

If you’re facing criminal charges for theft or fraud in Mesa, we invite you to schedule a free, confidential case review with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys.

During your case review, our seasoned attorneys will listen to your concerns, ask questions to understand the specifics of your case, and explain how the legal process will work in the course of defending your case. We’ll explain the laws and penalties that your case is subject to, discuss potential paths forward, and provide recommendations for your defense.

Mesa Location

At our Mesa office, we handle all types of criminal defense offenses, including domestic violence, theft crimes, violent crimes and more. Visit our practice areas page to learn more.

Address: 40 N. Center St, Mesa, AZ 85201

Phone number: (480) 467-4370

Free Criminal Case Review

Call (480) 467-4370  or fill out the form below to get your free consultation and discuss your best legal options.