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Los Angeles Petty Theft With a Prior Lawyers

June 22, 2016 Uncategorized

Los Angeles Petty Theft With a Prior Lawyers

You may be wondering if you, a family member or friend needs the representation of an attorney for a charge of petty theft. The brief answer to the question is yes, especially if you have prior convictions for similar crimes. The devastation that comes from a theft conviction is far greater than any financial inconvenience you may have for hiring an attorney. You would be wise to schedule an appointment with an honorable lawyer before you go into a court room for a petty theft charge. A Los Angeles petty theft can assist you in many ways.

What Is Petty Theft?

The crime of petty theft is taking property, goods or cash that does not belong to the person who took it. What separates petty theft from the larger crime of grand theft is the value of the property. A petty theft occurs when someone takes something that has a value of $950 or less. Grand theft occurs when the crime is more than $950.

The Penalty for Petty Theft

The penalties for petty theft vary depending on the amount of money that the crime involves. Thefts that are less than $50 may be excused with a simple infraction and a $250 fine. All other cases of petty theft are punishable with up to $1,000 in fines and six months in jail. No one should assume that a criminal who steals property that is valued at less than $950 is automatically getting placed in the misdemeanor category. The person may still receive a felony charge. The crime classification depends on the person who is making the charge. You can consult with an attorney to maximize your chances of receiving a dismissal or acquittal.

Petty Theft With Prior Convictions

Prior convictions can throw shade on the entire thing. They can make your punishment more severe because the authorities feel as tough you should have learned your lesson the first time. A subsequent petty theft conviction can land you in jail for an entire year.

Why You Need an Attorney?

An attorney can assist you in a number of ways. First, an attorney can listen to your story in an objective manner. The attorney will listen with an impartial ear and then let you know what he or she thinks about your chances of a dismissal or acquittal. You can hire the attorney at that time to defend you. Your new attorney can then use a number of tactics try to have the case dismissed. One tactic is to look for a procedural error on the arresting officer’s part. Mistakes such as failure to allow a defendant to seek counsel, failure to produce a valid search warrant or failure to read Miranda rights are procedural errors that can cost them the case. Acquittal is the objective when dismissal does not occur. The prosecutor needs to prove that you were the person who took the item or the money. He has to have solid evidence such as more than one eye witness, video footage or something similar. Your attorney can stand against the prosecutor if he or she cannot prove your guilt.

Why You Need Our Attorney

The number one reason that you should choose us is our history in criminal defense. We have been helping people just like you to break free of hurtful accusations and charges. We have affordable prices because we understand that you have to struggle to have good representation. Call or complete a short form to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys. You will be glad that you did.

Los Angeles Petty Theft with a Prior Attorneys

While petty theft is generally not considered to be a serious crime in Los Angeles, California law includes more severe charges leading to potentially stiff penalties under its petty theft with a prior law. In order for this charge to apply, the defendant must have specific types of prior convictions on their record, and they must have either served time in jail or prison for those convictions. Prior charges that didn’t lead to convictions are not enough for the petty theft with a prior law to apply. If you have been charged, getting the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer may help you to reduce your charges by asserting defenses that you might have available to you.

California Penal Code 666

Under California Penal Code 666, petty theft with a prior is defined as a person who has specific qualifying convictions on their criminal records for which they must have served time. The offense may be charged as a felony offense in the state. Petty theft is defined in California Penal Codes 484 and 488 It is a theft that involves the taking of certain types of property holding a value of $950 or less, not including cars, horses, firearms, fruit and nuts with a value exceeding $250 or fish and shellfish exceeding a value of $250 if it is taken from a commercial fishing operation. Petty theft is a misdemeanor offense carrying the potential for up to 6 months in the county jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

While regular petty theft is not treated very harshly, petty theft with a prior in California is a wobbler offense. Wobbler offenses in Los Angeles may be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor with the charging decision being solely within the prosecutor’s discretion. If a person is convicted of a felony petty theft with a prior offense, they may be sentenced to serve up to three years in state prison.

Qualifying convictions

In order to be convicted of petty theft with a prior, you must have qualifying convictions on your criminal record and you must have served time for them. You can have three or more of the following convictions and be charged with the enhanced offense:

● Burglary
● Petty theft
● Carjacking
● Robbery
● Auto theft
● Grand theft
● Receiving stolen property

You may also be charged with petty offense with a prior if you have one of the convictions listed above, and you also have a prior conviction for a sex crime that requires you to register as a sex offender. Other convictions that can lead to a charge of petty offense with a prior include prior convictions for any of the following along with a single conviction from the prior list:

● Any serious felony, such as murder, rape, mayhem, or voluntary manslaughter
● Forced oral copulation or sodomy under the threat of serious bodily injury, duress or coercion
● Lewd or lascivious acts involving a child under the age of 14
● Attempted murder
● Felonies in which you inflicted great bodily harm on the victim
● Any felony punishable by up to life imprisonment
● Burglaries of the first degree, kidnapping, arson or certain felony assaults.

Potential defenses

Your criminal defense attorney will determine what defenses are available to you, depending on his or her analysis of the facts of your case. Some of the more common defense include:

1. You didn’t have the required intent to steal whatever it was you are accused of taking.

2. You truly believed that the item was yours.

3. You don’t have the qualifying prior convictions on your record.

4. You are being falsely accused.

When you schedule your consultation, our attorneys will review the facts of what happened in your case. After determining the appropriate defenses that may be raised, your lawyer will then negotiate with the assigned prosecutor in order to try to secure a favorable plea. In some cases, it is possible for an experienced criminal defense attorney to win the dismissal of charges, depending on the relevant facts. To learn more about your rights and how we might be able to help you, call us today to schedule your appointment.

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