Located in Southern California, Los Angeles County is the entertainment capital of the United States. With a population of over 3 million people, crimes of all types occur within the county’s borders. In the entire state of California, there are about 89 crimes per square mile, in Los Angeles County there are roughly 224 crimes per square mile. These crimes span the scale from misdemeanors to felonies and carry varying sentences of either jail or prison time. People who are accused of a crime in Los Angeles County or the surrounding communities can enlist criminal defense attorney Karren Kenney to help fight the charges. We aggressively protect the rights of people accused of a wide range of misdemeanors and felonies, extending from white collar crimes and theft to DUI, drug offenses, and domestic violence.
Reasonable doubt– the standard against which prosecutors across the country must prove a crime before a person can be convicted for it. There are multiple elements to a crime that must be proved before a conviction can be secured. If even one of these necessary elements is not proven, it can prevent the prosecutor from securing a conviction.
There are two main theft or larceny crimes in California, they are known as petty theft and grand theft. Petty theft involves stolen items worth less than $950 and grand theft involves stolen items worth more than $950. In order to prove larceny, the prosecutor has to prove that the defendant took possession of somebody else’s property without their consent, that they did so because they were intending to permanently deprive the owner of the property or because they removed it from the owner’s possession for long enough that the owner was deprived of its value. A necessary element that must be proven is that the defendant actually moved the property in question, regardless of the distance, for even a brief period of time.
Shoplifting at a department store or other retail establishment can result in grand theft charges. Embezzling from an employer can result in the same charge. Often, a grand theft charge is considered a “wobbler,” meaning that it can be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony. Prosecutors often take into consideration the accused’s criminal history and the particular circumstances of a case when deciding how to charge grand theft.
An example of some common defenses against these charges include a claim of ownership, right of possession, good-faith mistake, consent by the owner, entrapment, or intoxication that results in a lack of intent.
Other theft-related crimes include embezzlement, robbery, and receiving stolen property. The elements of each crime that must be proved varies, but the prosecution has to prove all the elements of the crime charged. Therefore, if it 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.
One seemingly minor error in judgment can change your life. In addition to jail or prison time, you may lose the ability to obtain financial aid for school, lose a professional license, have your driver’s license suspended, or forfeit a job opportunity. However, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help if you are being prosecuted for theft or another offense in Costa Mesa. We can try to negotiate an appropriate plea or take your case to trial. Contact the Kenney Legal Defense Corporation at (949) 536-7762 or via our online form.