December 9, 2023
When you think of theft penalties, what do you think of?
Jail time? Fines? Paying the business or property owners back for the things that were stolen? It depends on the type of theft charge you face.
But while all of the above penalties may be assigned in court, consequences do not end with a judge’s gavel. In Colorado, a theft charge or conviction can cost you your job and opportunities for future employment.
No one is safe from these penalties – not even law enforcement.
Colorado Police Officer Suspended Without Pay
Recently, a Colorado police officer was caught unlawfully taking over $1,200 from a crime scene. His own body camera showed footage of him searching through a crime scene, discovering $100 bills and pocketing the cash.
The officer never mentioned the cash in the crime reports or documentation of the incident. After a supervisor alerted the officer that he was being charged for theft, the officer came back with over $1,200 that he said, “must have fallen in his bag.”
The officer faces charges of theft, official misconduct, and tampering with physical evidence.
The police department has not revealed the footage to the public (it is being used as evidence in the investigation and case), but has made a statement saying that the officer is currently suspended without pay. If he is found guilty, he may lose his job.
Caregiver Loses License after Theft
In some cases, a theft conviction means losing a job and having to look for another one with a criminal record on your back. That’s bad enough. But if you have a license to work in a specific field and that license is suspended or taken away, you essentially have to start over in a completely different career.
This is the case for Charity Huguley, a former caregiver in Colorado who was recently charged with stealing jewelry and property from the homes where she worked as a health care aid.
Charges against Huguley made news around the nursing profession because they were not Huguley’s first theft charges – she had been charged with similar crimes in El Paso County back in April, but continued to work as an aid with a valid license.
But she continued to rack up accusations of stealing and pawning jewelry from clients. So with over a dozen accusations against Huguley, the Colorado Board of Nursing decided to suspend her license and prevent her from practicing inside anyone’s homes.
Many nursing professionals wonder why her license wasn’t suspended sooner – and due to the embarrassment that Huguley’s case has caused, nursing professionals may be inclined to invoke harsher punishments against health care aids who are caught or are accused of stealing.
Among the theft and drug charges she faces, one count is theft of over $500 from an at-risk elder. In Colorado, this is a Class 3 felony. Huguley could face at least 12 years in prison, and fines of up to $750,000 for that one charge.
If You Have Been Charged With Theft
Employers are very hesitant to hire potential employees who have a history of stealing. But when employers ask for a background check, a felony conviction will be the first thing that they see. Your charges and convictions may be able to be sealed or expunged, but it isn’t guaranteed.
Don’t let it get to that point. Before you worry about having to seal your criminal record, work on building a strong defense against the theft charges you face. Contact a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer today to begin fighting your theft charges.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.