If you are caught stealing cash from an ATM machine you can be charged with multiple crimes. The two most likely charges will be criminal theft and criminal damage. A person can be charged with both crimes regarding a single incident because they concentrate on separate acts committed during the event.

Criminal Theft

According to ARS 13-1802, “A person commits theft if, without lawful authority, the person knowingly controls property of another with the intent to deprive the other person of such property”

The severity of your criminal theft charges will depend on the prosecution’s evidence against you, and the dollar amount you are accused of stealing. Further, theft can carry the following penalties in Arizona:


Value of Stolen ItemClassificationPenalty/Sentence*
Less than $1,000Class 1 MisdemeanorUp to 6 months in jail
$1,000 – $1,999Class 6 FelonyUp to 1.5 years in prison
$2,000 – $2,999Class 5 FelonyUp to 2 years in prison
$3,000 – $3,999Class 4 FelonyUp to 3 years in prison
$4,000 – $4,999Class 3 FelonyUp to 7 years in prison
$5,000 – $5,999Class 2 FelonyUp to 10 years in prison

Criminal Damage

As explained in ARS 13-1602, a person commits criminal damage by:

  • Recklessly defacing or damaging property of another person.
  • Recklessly tampering with property of another person so as substantially to impair its function or value.
  • Recklessly damaging property of a utility.
  • Intentionally tampering with utility property.

The penalties for this charge are as follows:

Value of DamageClassificationPenalty/Sentence*
Over $10,000Class 4 FelonyUp to 3 years in prison
Over $2,000Class 5 FelonyUp to 2 years in prison
Over $1,000Class 6 FelonyUp to 1.5 years in prison
Over $250Class 1 MisdemeanorUp to 6 months in jail


*Sentences can be increased if aggravated charge is added.

How JacksonWhite Can Help

During trial, the prosecuting attorney is responsible to prove all of the theft charge’s elements. You may be able to counteract the prosecution’s case by retaining a criminal defense attorney who knows how to defend theft charges. For more information about criminal theft and criminal damage charges in Arizona contact the criminal defense lawyers at JacksonWhite to fight for you. 

Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.

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