What is Theft?

Theft is the act of unlawfully taking another person’s property or money without their permission. Theft crimes could be charged as misdemeanors or felonies.

Theft charges in Los Angeles can bring about serious consequences.  Depending on the charge and your criminal history, a stiff sentence could be in your future.

Types of Theft

  • Penal Code 484 PC/488 PC Petty Theft is a misdemeanor involving taking money or property valued at $950 or less. This comes in various forms such as theft by embezzlement, trick, larceny, or false pretenses.
  • Penal Code 487(a) PC Grand Theft is a felony involving the taking of money or property valued at $950 or more.
  • Penal Code 666 PC Petty Theft with a Prior
  • Penal Code 215 PC Carjacking involves taking a vehicle from someone else by fear or force. This is also a “strike offense” under the California Three Strikes Law.
  • Penal Code 459 PC Burglary involves entering a commercial building or residential dwelling with the intent to commit a theft or felony.
  • Penal Code 459.5 Shoplifting involves having an intent to steal while entering a store.
  • Penal Code 211 PC Robbery in a felony involving taking property from someone from their person or in their immediate presence against their will through force or fear.
  • Penal Code 484 (e) PC Credit Card Fraud
  • Vehicle Code Section 10851 VC Vehicular Theft

White-Collar Thefts include:

  • Penal Code 530.5 Identity Theft
  • Penal Code 503 PC Embezzlement

What Defense Could I Raise When Accused of Theft in Los Angeles?

Legal defenses in theft cases will depend on the type of theft case facing, the evidence assembled against you, and your criminal history.

Legal defense strategies include:

  • Claim of right – you assert that you believed you had a right to the property, even if this assumption was incorrect.
  • No Intent – You did not have the intent to commit theft, giving you the chance at a reduced charge or you did not have the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property.
  • Consent – You acted with the owner’s consent.
  • You were falsely accused
  • You were the victim of mistaken identity

Legal Consequences for Theft

Theft crimes and legal penalties in Los Angeles will depend on what was stolen, the value of the property, and your criminal history.

  • A first-time offense, misdemeanor theft charge could qualify for probation or a diversion program.
  • Petty Theft – This could bring a charge of up to 6 months in county jail, court fines, and restitution.
  • Petty Theft – When charged under PC 666, it may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony when you have a prior theft conviction, served time in jail or prison, or has a prior conviction for a violent offense or sex crime. If this second offense is charged as a felony comes with up to three years in prison.
  • Misdemeanor Shoplifting – Up to six months in county jail
  • Felony Shoplifting – Up to three years in jail.
  • Grand Theft – This charge is a wobbler that could be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. You could face up to one year in jail if it is a misdemeanor. Felonies’ sentences range from 16 months to three years.
  • Carjacking – is a strike offense under the California Three Strikes Law. Sentencing ranges from three to nine years in state prison.

Why Do You Need a Lawyer for Your Theft Case?

Theft crimes can lead to jail time whether misdemeanor or felony conviction. It is important to be represented by an experienced criminal attorney who will:

  • Provide legal guidance
  • Protect your constitutional rights
  • Develop a defense strategy to put you in the best situation
  • Negotiate for more lenient sentencing or alternative punishments

Call Windsor Troy Today! 

It is critical to get out in front of your situation. If you have been arrested for theft, contact Windsor Troy today so we can start representing you. Windsor Troy has a strong track record of outstanding legal services.  We are ready to help you through every stage of your case.  Call us now or click here for your free consultation