Criminal Defense Lawyer Serving the Tempe Area and Beyond

With more than 17 years of legal experience, Tempe theft attorney James E. Novak represents people throughout the Phoenix area who have been charged with crimes. Mr. Novak is a former prosecutor who knows how the criminal justice system works. This experience gives him useful insights into how to build the strongest possible defenses for the people whom he represents. Mr. Novak takes the time to keep clients aware of their rights and options throughout the process, and he fights tirelessly to ensure that their interests are protected.

Fighting Charges of Theft Under Arizona Law

Under Arizona law, a person commits theft when he or she knowingly takes control of another person’s property, uses another person’s services or property, or obtains those services or property through lies or misrepresentations. The crime also covers situations in which a person comes into possession of an item that has been lost but fails to make a reasonable effort to notify the owner. It also applies when a person keeps something that he or she knows was stolen or obtains services without paying for them.

Theft is a serious charge that may come with significant consequences, and a conviction may limit your ability to find and keep a job or pursue educational opportunities. This charge often involves allegations of dishonesty, and many employers ask about or look into these types of crimes when considering candidates for jobs.

A conviction also may mean expensive fines and restitution, community service, and even jail time. This is particularly true in cases that involve the stealing of relatively valuable items, which likely will be charged as felonies rather than misdemeanors. There are several tiers of felonies in the Arizona criminal justice system, and theft may be charged as anything from a Class 2 to a Class 6 felony, or as a Class 1 misdemeanor. The classification depends on the dollar value of what the defendant took, except in some situations involving cars, guns, or animals.

Theft cases are often matters of mistaken or false accusations. They also often include questions about what was going through the person’s mind when he or she came into possession of the item or service at issue. Did the person really lie or make a misrepresentation in order to get the item? Did he or she intend to return it? Did he or she plan to pay for it? In some cases, these situations can be resolved by simply returning and paying for the item or services in question. In others, the charges must be defended in court.

Discuss Your Theft Case with a Tempe Attorney

Tempe theft lawyer James E. Novak understands how to resolve these complicated matters in the most efficient way possible under the circumstances. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in the Phoenix area, contact our firm online or at (480) 413-1499 to set up a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney. Our offices are conveniently located on South Lakeshore Drive in Tempe, and we proudly represent people fighting charges in Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, and other cities throughout Maricopa County.