The California criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman bring decades of experience defending clients against theft and related charges throughout Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Ventura, Orange, and Riverside Counties.
Most people who get caught up in theft charges a normal, good citizens who slipped in a moment of weakness or made a thoughtless mistake. Everyone deserves a second chance and certainly not the permanent stain on your good name that a conviction or jail time brings. Additionally, there are those who are completely innocent who can also get caught up in theft charges because of misidentification by a witness or circumstances that look suspicious.
Our California theft crimes attorneys succeed in getting charges dismissed or reduced in crimes including Petty Theft, Identity Theft, Grand Theft, Appropriation of Lost Property, Burglary, Receiving Stolen Property, Grand Theft Auto, Auto Burglary, Grand Theft Firearm, and Embezzlement.
A California theft or related charge must be fought because convictions are especially damaging when it comes to finding a job, applying for some government benefits, and getting a state professional license. Even if your theft conviction is expunged, it will show up on background checks. Companies prefer to stay away from job applicants who have theft convictions due to public opinion that they are untrustworthy and fear that they may steal from them.
Also, most California theft crimes count as “crimes of moral turpitude.” A crime of moral turpitude is one that the state can cite to justify denial of a professional certification or license. These include contractor’s licenses, real estate licenses, and nursing licenses. Crimes of moral turpitude also cause problems for immigrants applying for naturalization, green cards, or visas.
In November, 2014 many felonies became misdemeanors thanks to the passage of Proposition 47. If you have already been convicted of felony burglary, check fraud, receiving stolen property, forgery, grand theft auto, or grand theft firearm, you may qualify for a reduction in your sentence per Proposition 47.
Fighting a California Theft Charge
U.S. law gives you the right to have an experienced California theft crimes attorney fight the charges and defend your good name. Each theft case begins with a thorough review of the facts in your case to weight the chances of that the prosecutor can convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. We will challenge evidence that is inadmissible and if it goes to trial our attorneys know what it takes to win the verdict.
Even if the evidence against you is very strong, our California criminal defense lawyers can negotiate for a favorable arrangement with the district attorney or judge to get the charges dismissed or reduced.
Negotiations often go well on first offense theft cases, where we fight to show that the client is a good citizen with no record and simply made an error. If you agree to a repayment to the victim and to do community service work and/or complete theft counseling, we can convince the prosecutor or the judge to drop the charges and save your good name from having a permanent criminal record.
Common California Theft Crimes
Penal Code 484 and 488 make stealing property valued up to $950 a misdemeanor. However, Penal Code 666, Petty Theft with a Prior, makes a second offense eligible for a felony charge.
Penal Code 487 makes stealing property valued at more than $950 a crime. It may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.
No matter what the value is of a gun, any theft of a firearm can be prosecuted as “grand theft.” The value does make a difference for sentencing because if the value is under $950 it is a misdemeanor but above $950 makes it a felony.
Under California law, theft of an auto is “grand theft” if the value is over $950, and “petty theft” if the value is under $950.00.
Burglary is defined in California as entering a structure with the intent to commit a theft or a felony inside. If the structure is a house or “inhabited dwelling,” it may be charges as residential burglary (which counts as a “strike” under the California Three Strikes Law).
Breaking into a locked auto to steal it leads to a charge of “auto burglary” in California.
Stealing or misappropriating money or property entrusted to you by the rightful owner may lead to a charge of a California embezzlement.
If you buy or otherwise receive property that you know (or reasonably should have known) is stolen, you may be charged with receiving stolen property.
In California a robbery is committed if you use violence, force, or threats to take property from someone that is in his/her immediate possession. This counts as a “strike” under the California Three Strikes Law.
The definition is the same as robbery of but it must involve a vehicle. In California a carjacking is committed if you use force or fear to take a vehicle from someone that is in his/her immediate possession.
Call us for help
If you or a loved one is charged with a theft crime and you are thinking about hiring an attorney to represent you, we invite you to contact us at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman. We provide free consultations in our offices or by phone. We have local offices in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Long Beach, Orange County, Ventura, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Diego, and throughout California.