Your Boss Just Accused You of Theft in Colorado — What Now?

There are all kinds of theft crimes. Shoplifting. Package theft. Identity theft. Stealing motor vehicles.

Some kinds of theft many people don’t really even think of as a crime – like using your friend’s Netflix account. What may surprise you more, though, is that the more common theft crimes don’t involve people walking into stores to take items they didn’t pay for. Instead, it’s employees who steal from their employers.

It can be tempting to take something from the workplace to supplement income. Still, if you are accused by your boss of theft, it’s not an issue to ignore because you know you didn’t do it. Instead, it’s in your best interest to know more about what you are being accused of.

Here is what you need to know about theft from an employer in Colorado, including the penalties if you are charged and found guilty.

What Is Workplace Theft in Colorado?

Workplace theft is the misuse or stealing of your employer’s property without authorization and for personal use. It’s an umbrella term for a wide variety of actions and encompasses the taking of things other than money.

For example, workplace theft can occur when an employee gets paid for hours they didn’t work or takes office supplies from their place of employment.

It can also occur when someone takes money from a cash register, commits credit card fraud, engages in fraudulent financial activity, takes products from their place of employment, or shares private information with competitors.

One of the most serious forms of workplace theft involves the act of embezzlement. This occurs when someone who is trusted to manage assets or has access to them steals those assets. It can be money or property – and it can lead to very serious penalties.

Knowingly acquiring, keeping, or exerting control over something of value that belongs to someone else without their permission or through the use of deception or threat, is theft. When it occurs in the workplace, then it’s workplace theft.

The Penalties for Workplace Theft in Colorado

Theft, which includes embezzlement as well as the other scenarios listed above, is charged in accordance with the value of the property that was taken.  This corresponds to:

Value of $50 or Less

A class one petty offense, you can face up to 180 days in jail and be responsible for fines of up to $500.

Value Between $50 and $300

A class three misdemeanor, can land you in jail for up to 180 days and make you responsible for fines of as much as $750.

Value Between $300 and $750

A class two misdemeanor, can send you to jail for up to 12 months and require you to pay fines up to $1,000.

Value Between $750 and $2,000

A class one misdemeanor, you can be sent to jail for up to 18 months and be made to pay fines up to $5.000.

Value Between $2,000 and $5,000

A class six felony, you can go to prison for up to 18 months and be required to pay fines of $100,000.

Value Between $5,000 and $20,000

The Penalties for Workplace Theft in Colorado


A class five felony, you can face up to three years behind bars and fines of as much as $100,000.

Theft from an employer is something that should always be taken seriously. Chances are, it won’t simply go away, so try to understand what you are being accused of and get legal assistance from a criminal defense lawyer in Colorado.

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 recognized by countless legal organizations for his exemplary defense work, including Avvo, Best DWI Attorneys, Expertise, Lawyers of Distinction, The National Trial Lawyers, and others. He was also named one of the 10 Best in Client Satisfaction in Colorado by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys for 2020, and is Lead Counsel rated.