If you or a loved one has been charged with or is being investigated for committing a theft crime, you should immediately call an experienced theft crime attorney at The H Law Group. We have some of the best theft crimes attorneys Los Angeles who are here to fight for you. Defending yourself against a theft crime is essential to staying out of jail. In California, the prosecution can charge a theft crime as either a felony or a misdemeanor. Theft crimes usually involve taking another person’s property without their permission. Theft crimes are punished harshly in California; as such, you should hire an experienced theft crimes defense attorney from The H Law Group. Schedule your free consultation by calling us at 888.499.4948.
Here are some common theft crimes that we represent. This is not a comprehensive list; we represent clients charged with any crime
In California, the prosecution can charge theft as either a felony or a misdemeanor. So, when is theft charged as a misdemeanor? Typically theft is charged as a misdemeanor under California Penal Code Section 484(a) when the defendant takes property that is valued at $950 or less with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of his property. That said, when the item or property taken exceeds $950, the prosecution typically charges the crime as a felony. Also, if the theft you committed was at a shopping outlet, the prosecution may bring additional charges, such as burglary and shoplifting.
In order for the prosecution to prove that an individual is guilty of petty theft under CPC 484(a), it must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
Your attorney can use a variety of defenses to defend you against your theft charges. The type of defense your theft lawyer will use depends on the facts of your case. Each case is different, and so the defenses are different.
The most powerful defense that your theft attorney can make is that you did not have the intent to deprive the other person of his property permanently. This is so because theft is a specific intent crime that requires the prosecution to show that you specifically intended to take the property of another and never return it. So, if for example, you thought that the property was yours, you may be able to argue that you did not have the specific intent to steal the property of another because you believed the property to be yours. If successful, the charges against you may be dropped, or the prosecution will be more willing to negotiate a favorable plea deal for you.
For example, if you placed an item in your bag, intending to pay for it, but accidentally walked out of the store without paying for it, you may be able to argue that you did not have the specific intent to permanently deprive because you intended to pay for the item before leaving, but forgot to do so. To determine the best argument for your case, you should contact the Southern California and Los Angeles theft lawyer at The H Law Group. Our attorneys have experience handling theft cases and guarantee that they will do their best to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
Also, your attorney may be able to make a consent defense. That is, if the facts of your case support making this argument, your attorney will argue that the owner of the property consented to you taking the property.
Under California Penal Code Section 484(a), if a person is convicted of misdemeanor theft (petty theft), an individual may be sent to jail for up to six (6) months and/or have to pay a fine of up to $1,000. However, if an individual is convicted of felony theft (grand theft), he may be sent to jail for sixteen (16) months, two (2) years, or three (3) years in jail. The judge may also order you to pay restitution to the victim whose property you took. The punishment for theft is quite harsh in California, so if you’ve been charged with theft, you should promptly contact a Los Angeles theft lawyer to represent you and defend you in court. If convicted of petty theft, you should keep in mind that your petty theft conviction can be used to enhance a future petty theft into a felony, so it’s important that you retain a Los Angeles petty theft attorney to represent you and achieve the best possible outcome for you.
That said, if you’ve been convicted of petty theft in the past and served jail time, the prosecution may file subsequent petty theft charges as a felony, this is known as “Petty theft with a prior” under California Penal Code Section 666. Being convicted of a petty theft charge with a prior can subject you to three (3) years in prison, probation, court fines, community service, and restitution to the victim. If you have been arrested for petty theft, you should hire a Los Angeles petty theft attorney at The H Law Group. Some of our attorneys are former prosecutors, so they know how the system works, and they’ll use that knowledge to your advantage.
When determining whether to charge theft as a misdemeanor or as a felony and when determining the appropriate punishment, the prosecution often considers the following factors:
If you or a loved one has been charged with theft in Southern California, you should contact a Los Angeles theft attorney to represent you in court and defend you. We have some of the best theft attorneys who will do the most they can to achieve a favorable outcome for you. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 888.499.4948.