Larceny (Theft) Grand or Petty Theft

1. Grand Theft

California Penal Code (PC) section 487

In California the law defined as Grand Theft Law Penal Code (PC) 487 is as the unlawful taking of someone else's property. And when the property taken is • valued at more than nine hundred fifty dollars ($950), OR • A car or a firearm, OR • Taken directly off of the person it belongs to (as in a mugging, for example), Grand theft conviction should be prevented at all costs because once on your record they can have all sorts of professional and personal repercussions.

Penalties In most cases, the offense of grand theft in California may be charged as a felony or misdemeanor grand theft. • The maximum potential sentence for misdemeanor grand theft is up to one (1) year in county jail. • For felony grand theft, you may be sentenced to sixteen (16) months, two (2) years, or three (3) years of incarceration. Contact the Lee Law Group for additional information on penalties for this offense. Contact the Lee Law Group for additional information on penalties for this offense.

Possible Defenses Contact the Lee Law Group to fight your grand theft charges. As the facts allow, Lee Law Group can fight your grand theft charges by arguing, among other things, that (1) You did not intend to steal,; (2) The allegedly stolen property actually belonged to you; (3) The person who owned the item consented to you taking it; (4) You were falsely accused; and/or (5) You did not know you had he property on you.

All these arguments, if valid and done skillfully, may get you acquitted of grand theft charges.

 

2. Petty Theft & Shoplifting

California Penal Code section 484 and 488

In California the law defined as Petty Theft (Penal Code (PC) 487) is the unlawful taking of someone else's property, and the property taken is •valued at nine hundred fifty dollars ($950) or less, •not of certain special types (like a car or a firearm), AND •not taken directly off of the person it belongs to (as in a mugging, for example), The vast majority of petty theft charges stem from shoplifting cases. However, there are other forms of theft (other than shoplifting) that sometimes give rise to petty theft charges include:

1. Theft by Trick (for example, changing the price tag on an item in a store so that you can pay less for it),

2. Theft by Embezzlement in California law – that is, taking something that has been entrusted to you (usually money), and

3. Theft by Fraud or False Pretense (This mean telling a lie in order to persuade someone else to give you his or her property).

Penalties Petty theft is a misdemeanor in California law. • The maximum penalties for most first-time petty theft convictions are a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000), up to six (6) months in county jail, or both. Contact the Lee Law Group for additional information on penalties for this offense.

Possible Defenses Contact the Lee Law Group to fight your petty theft charges. As the facts allow, Lee Law Group can fight your petty theft charges by using the same arguments we use in your grand theft defense. These include, but are not limited to arguing that ((1) You did not intend to steal; (2) The allegedly stolen property actually belonged to you; (3) The person who owned the item consented to you taking it; (4) You were falsely accused; and/or (5) You did not know you had he property on you. All these arguments, if valid and done skillfully, may get you acquitted of petty theft charges, or may get the charges dismissed.

 

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Petty Theft with a Prior

California Penal Code (PC) section 666

California Penal Code 666 PC, the offense for "Petty Theft with a Prior" is one of the harsher, more unfair sentencing schemes in California criminal law. Since petty theft is one of the least serious theft crimes, it is usually a misdemeanor carrying relatively light penalties: a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000), and/or up to six (6) months in county jail. But, if you have certain prior convictions on your record, Penal Code 666 PC changes all that.

This law, known as California's "petty theft with a prior" statute, turns a petty theft charge into an offense that may be charged either as a misdemeanor charge or as a felony charge. If it is charged as a felony, Penal Code 666 PC petty theft with a prior can lead to up to three (3) years in California state prison. This is a pretty harsh penalty for a criminal charge that, much of the time, arises out of shoplifting cases...in which the shoplifter didn't even take anything particularly valuable! Most "petty theft with a prior" cases arise out of minor shoplifting cases.

Penalties If you are convicted of petty theft with a prior conviction, the crime may be charged as a misdemeanor charge or as a felony charge depending on 1. The facts of the case, and 2. The defendant's criminal history. If petty theft with a prior is charged as a misdemeanor, the maximum jail sentence will be up to one (1) year in county jail.18 But if it is charged as a felony, then the penalties for petty theft with a prior include a jail or California state prison term of sixteen (16) months, two (2) years, or three (3) years.

These harsh penalties exist despite the fact that social science studies have shown that felony penalties for petty theft crimes do nothing to reduce incidences of shoplifting...which is where most petty theft charges come from. Contact the Lee Law Group for additional information on penalties for this offense.

Possible Defenses Contact the Lee Law Group to fight your “petty theft with prior” charges. As the facts allow, Lee Law Group may find it advantageous to either: •challenging the current petty theft charge, or •challenging the prior conviction. Lee Law Group can fight your current petty theft charges by using the same arguments we use in your grand theft defense.

These include, but are not limited to arguing that ((1) You did not intend to steal; (2) The allegedly stolen property actually belonged to you; (3) The person who owned the item consented to you taking it; (4) You were falsely accused; and/or (5) You did not know you had he property on you. All these arguments, if valid and done skillfully, may get you acquitted of petty theft charges, or may get the charges dismissed. Legal defenses against the prior convictions It is generally more difficult to challenge the fact of a prior conviction. However, in some cases, we can investigate you records and determine that the prior offenses were not as serious or numerous as the prosecutor has stated and show the court the truth of the matter. In addition, it may be a good idea to file a motion to "bifurcate" your trial into two separate trials. In that case, one jury would decide whether you are guilty of the current petty theft charge...and another would decide whether you have qualifying prior convictions.

This might help prevent the jury from developing an image of you as a "career criminal"...and so convicting you unfairly on the current petty theft charge. Either way, Lee Law Group will be fighting for you.

 

 

SUSPECTED OR CHARGED WITH LARCENY? CONTACT THE LEE LAW GROUP AND WE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU

 
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