Los Angeles Theft Crime Lawyer

Los Angeles Theft Crime Lawyer

Theft Crime Defense Attorneys in Los Angeles, CA

Theft crimes, like all other major criminal offenses, can result in serious penalties. Prosecution for theft crimes can range from the complete dismissal of cases to prolonged prison time. To effectively avoid heavy sentencing for theft offenses, a top-tier defense lawyer is essential for theft cases. For those in the Los Angeles area, Gibbons & Gibbons can provide the expertise needed for a strong defense.

Types of Theft Crimes

According to California law, any seizure of property obtained illegally qualifies as theft. Theft comprises taking anything without proper authorization from a person’s residence, car, or business. Some of the most common theft crimes include:

  • Petty Theft: Petty theft, which primarily refers to shoplifting, is a crime that includes taking property or goods worth less than $950. Petty theft carries a variety of punishments, from fines to jail time. Like most crimes, the consequences for any petty theft accusations become more severe for subsequent convictions, meaning that a second petty theft charge will carry harsher consequences than a first-time arrest.
  • Burglary: Burglary is the willful entry into a private home, company, or car to steal. Depending on how severe the crime is, a burglary conviction may have different repercussions. For example, first-degree burglary, which occurs when somebody enters a home or similar institution while it is occupied, may result in a six-year jail sentence. Second-degree burglary, on the other hand, has a mandatory one-year prison sentence.
  • Grand Theft: If the value of any stolen items is over $950, grand theft charges, rather than minor theft charges, are used to prosecute the incident. These accusations, known as “wobblers,” may be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the prosecution’s strategy and the severity of the incidents. For felony grand theft charges, the maximum penalty is $10,000 in fees and three years in prison. For misdemeanor grand theft convictions, the maximum term in prison is one year, coupled with a $1,000 fine.
  • Robbery: Force or coercion used to take another person’s property against that person will result in a robbery charge. The main distinction among theft crimes is the intention behind the action. To be found guilty of robbery, the defendant must have consciously decided to take a piece of property from another person using violent means. Because of this deliberate use of violence, robbery is classified as a violent crime and is therefore penalized as a felony.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Theft of any type of vehicle constitutes grand theft auto charges, which can result in misdemeanor or felony penalties. Grand theft auto convictions at the felony level can result in three years in prison plus $10,000 in fines. Misdemeanor charges can lead to up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines. If the stolen vehicle was an emergency response vehicle or a vehicle specially customized for disabled users, the potential prison term could be up to four years.

Being an accomplice to another crime, regardless of involvement, is still considered a severe offense in any criminal trial, especially for theft. Obtaining or hiding stolen goods or cash is a form of theft. On the other hand, California’s Proposition 47 lessens sentencing for certain offenses, including instances of petty theft of goods below the value of $950. If convicted of petty theft, depending on the defendant’s prior record, these charges have the possibility of being dismissed if applicable.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

What Theft Crimes Count Against California’s Three Strikes Law?

The Three Strikes Law makes those convicted of three felonies subject to harsher prison sentences. This is intended to deter crime by increasing the legal penalties for repeat offenders. Only violent offenses, which are offenses that cause serious harm to another party or revolve around deadly weapons, are subject to this statute. If the prosecution builds a case to charge a third-time offender with a violent crime, the defendant will be imprisoned. If the defendant is convicted of armed robbery and has two prior felony convictions, this charge is considered a third strike for theft crimes. The defendant could be imprisoned for 25 years to life.

Los Angeles Theft FAQs

Q: What is the punishment for theft in California?

A: Depending on the type of theft committed, as well as the intentions behind the incident and the defendant’s criminal record, theft crimes can be pursued as both misdemeanor and felony offenses. Petty theft, because of the low property value of the stolen goods, is usually charged as a misdemeanor. However, theft crimes like robbery, which involve malicious intent through coercion, are considered violent crimes and are always pursued at the felony level.

Q: How much theft is a felony in California?

A: Typically, if the value of the goods stolen is over $950, the prosecution will push forward with felony charges. These charges are “wobblers” and can be pursued at both the felony and misdemeanor levels. Other aggravating factors, like taking the property while using a firearm, can ensure that the crime is considered a felony.

Q: What is considered theft in California?

A: California defines theft as the unlawful taking of goods from a residence, car, business establishment, or individual. Theft charges can be extended to storing stolen property for another person or selling stolen goods. Crimes like robbery are always pursued at the felony level. Others, like grand theft, can be either felonies or misdemeanors based on the value of the stolen goods.

Q: Can petty theft charges be dropped in California?

A: Depending on the value of the property stolen, it is possible to drop or reduce certain petty theft charges. Typically, in instances of shoplifting where the average value of property stolen is around $50, these charges can be reduced from a misdemeanor to an infraction. This does not appear on a criminal record and does not warrant serious penalties like jail time.

Trusted Los Angeles Theft Crime Attorneys

Theft charges can result in serious legal consequences. The first thing those facing theft charges should do is contact an experienced Los Angeles theft crime lawyer to secure representation for any theft-related crime. Fortunately, Gibbons & Gibbons can provide the legal expertise required for these complex cases, providing excellent legal representation to anyone accused of theft crimes. For a full list of our practice areas, visit our website and contact us today.

Call (562) 802-3602 or fill out our online form now. We serve clients across the Greater Los Angeles area including Whittier, Bellflower, Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, Long Beach, South Gate, Bell, Bell Gardens, Paramount, La Mirada, Artesia, Pico Rivera, and Montebello.

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