San Bernardino County is the fifth most populous county in California. It is also the largest county in the Unites states by area. This sparsely populated area of mountains and deserts stretches from an area where most of the population resides out to the San Bernardino Mountains and to the border of Nevada. In this area, due to the relatively lower economic status of the residents, there is a greater chance of theft. If you have been charged with a crime in San Bernardino County or the surrounding area, an experienced criminal defense attorney can explore the details of your situation and look for ways to fight the prosecution.
Unlike many other defense attorneys who have worked as prosecutors, Karren Kenney has always worked on behalf of individuals facing charges. She has handled a wide range of criminal matters, including white collar crimes, domestic violence, drug offenses, DUI, and shoplifting.
California prosecutors must prove the elements of an offense beyond a reasonable doubt. There are many elements of each crime that must be proven in order to gain a conviction. Failure to prove any of these elements, including intent, can mean that the prosecution is not able to convict you.
Theft or larceny crimes in California are divided into petty or grand theft. In general, petty theft involves stealing items that together or individually are worth less than $950, while stealing anything worth more than that is grand theft. Grand theft is often considered a “wobbler,” meaning that it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Prosecutors often consider the accused individual’s criminal history and the particular circumstances of a case when deciding whether to charge the grand theft as a misdemeanor or as a felony.
The prosecution has to prove that the defendant took possession of somebody else’s property without consent, intending to permanently deprive the owner of the property or to remove it from the owner’s possession for long enough that the owner would be deprived of its value in order to charge them with larceny. They must also necessarily show that the defendant physically moved the property in question, regardless of the distance, for at least a brief period of time.
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. Although the elements that must be proved for each of these crimes varies, in general 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.
Theft charges and convictions can ruin a person’s criminal record. An experienced criminal defense attorney can make a big difference to an individual in San Bernardino County 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 (949) 536-7762 or via our online form.