Grand Theft & Petty Theft Defense
In California, theft can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on a variety of factors. A conviction of felony grand theft can result in up to three years in state prison, making it essential that you have an attorney at your side who understands the details of your case and how best to defend you. The legal team at Don Ho Law is experienced in this area of law and will provide you with a zealous defense.
What is Theft?
California Penal Code §§ 484-502.9
A theft charge can encompass a variety of things, and is not always as simple as the taking of someone’s property. You can also be charged with theft if you temporarily take another person’s property in a way that deprives the owner of the value or enjoyment of that property. Additionally, you can be charged with theft if you acquire someone else’s property through deceit or fraud, or if you take someone’s property with the intent to sell it back to them or return it for a refund.
Grand theft and petty theft both involve the stealing of property or money. Several factors distinguish grand theft from petty theft. Grand theft will be charged if the amount of money or value of property taken exceeds $950. If the amount in question is less than $950, there can still be a charge of grand theft if the money or property was taken directly from the owner, such as snatching a purse out of someone’s hand. No matter the value, any theft of firearms, motor vehicles, or agricultural products or livestock, will result in a charge of grand theft. Additionally, if you are a servant, agent, or employee charged with stealing from an employer, you can be charged with grand theft if the total value of money and property stolen over the course of one year adds up to more than $950.
Grand theft can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances of the case, and can result in up to three years in state prison and a fine of up to $1000. If the money or property was stolen using force or intimidation, the penalty increases to up to five years in state prison and a possible strike under California’s Three Strikes Laws.
Any form of stealing that does not qualify for a charge of grand theft will be charged as petty theft. Petty theft is generally charged as a misdemeanor, and carries a penalty of up to six months in county jail and a fine of up to $1000. However, if you have three or more theft related convictions on your record which resulted in time served in jail, petty theft can be charged as a felony.
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