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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.