Laguna Beach Criminal Attorney Karren Kenney represents residents of Laguna Beach who have been accused of crimes. Laguna Beach is located in southern Orange County; it is home to a beautiful coastline, plenty of stores, bars and restaurants. Its primary industry is tourism, with an estimated 3 million people visiting the city each year. This large influx of people can increase crime rates for such crimes as petty theft, DUI’s, vandalism, and being drunk in public. Annual events at Laguna Beach include the Pageant of the Masters, Festival of the Arts, Sawdust Festival, Art-A-Fair, and Kelpfest. Each of these events attracts a large audience with can lead to an increase in petty crimes.
Prosecutors have to prove the elements of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. General categories of crimes can take many forms, each requiring proof of multiple elements. Not being able to prove one or more of any of these elements, including intent, can prevent the prosecutor in convicting you of the crime.
Theft or larceny crimes in California are divided into petty or grand theft. In general, petty theft involves stolen items worth less than $950, while grand theft is stealing one or more items worth more than $950 in total. Oftentimes grand theft charges are considered a “wobbler,” meaning that they can be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony. When deciding how to charge grand theft, prosecutors take things like the accused’s criminal history and the particular circumstances of a case into consideration.
In order to prove larceny, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant took possession of somebody else’s property without the owner’s consent and that they intended to either permanently deprive the owner of the property or to remove it from the owner’s possession for a long enough period of time that the owner would be deprived of its value. Prosecutors must also necessarily show that the defendant physically moved the property, regardless of how large or small the distance was, for at least a short period of time.
Some common defenses against these charges include claiming ownership, right of possession, good-faith mistake, consent by the owner, entrapment, or intoxication– each of these results in a lack of intent. Without intent, a conviction cannot be garnered by the prosecution.
Other theft-related crimes include embezzlement, robbery, and receiving stolen property. What must be proved with regard to each offense varies, but generally the prosecutor must prove all the elements of the crime charged. Therefore, if he or she proves a lesser included offense but has only charged grand theft, you must be acquitted if all the elements for grand theft are not proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
Cases such as petty theft, drug crimes, and DUI’s that occur in Irvine are arraigned at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach, just a short drive from Criminal Lawyer Karren Kenney’s office.
Theft charges and convictions can ruin a person’s criminal record. An experienced Laguna Beach Criminal Attorney can make a big difference to an individual in Laguna Beach who is facing theft charges. We may be able to negotiate an appropriate plea bargain or take your case to trial. Contact the Kenney Legal Defense Corporation at (855) 505-5588 or via our online form.