Taking something that doesn’t belong to you is theft. While the definition is simple, defending against charges of theft is not. There are a variety of categories of theft under California State law. Additionally, some of those categories are considered misdemeanors while others are considered felonies. As a result, theft defense can actually be quite intricate. It is best to work with a criminal defense attorney familiar with theft charges.
California theft crimes are divided into two main categories: petty theft and grand theft. Whether the theft is considered petty or grand depends on what was stolen. Generally speaking, petty theft is when the property stolen is valued at less than $950, while stealing property worth more than that is grand theft. The theft of some items, such as guns or cars, is considered grand theft regardless of the value of the item. In addition to grand theft and petty theft, other California theft and theft-related crimes include:
Because of the complexity of the laws surrounding theft, it is important to take action right away. Every minute you delay is a minute the prosecution is building the case against you. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side during this process.
Theft charges can be defended in a variety of ways. Sometimes the prosecution does not actually have the evidence to prove your guilt. If that is the case, we will work to have the charges dropped. Even if there is evidence against you, it may be possible to have the charges reduced or dismissed, particularly if you are a first offender with no prior record.
We understand that the economic recovery has not been meaningful for everyone. Desperation can cause people to make mistakes. We don’t feel that one error in judgment as the result of a difficult situation should be cause for maximum penalties. You may not realize that a theft conviction can have consequences in addition to jail time and fines, including:
If you have been charged with theft or a theft-related crime in Orange County, contact our firm today for a free consultation. We are happy to answer your questions and give you a sense of your options.