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California law defines theft in several ways. Each of these crimes may carry serious consequences that range from sizable fines to considerable jail time. Moreover, being convicted of any of these California theft crimes will leave you with a criminal record that can make it difficult to do basic things like getting a job. If you’re being investigated for any theft crime in Los Angeles, then you need a competent theft crimes attorney to represent you.
Petty Theft or Shoplifting in Los Angeles
When compared with other crimes, petty theft or shoplifting happens the most frequently. Typically, petty theft involves items worth less than $950. Shoplifting doesn’t just involve removing items from a store without paying for them. It may also include switching labels on an item in an effort to get it at a reduced price or simply removing the price tag from an item. Some people have been charged with shoplifting after eating food at the grocery store without intending to pay for it. If convicted, a shoplifting or petty theft defendant can expect to be ordered to make restitution, pay fines, spend up to six months in jail, complete a term of community service and attend counseling. Anyone accused of committing this crime needs to contact a Los Angeles petty theft attorney immediately.
California Burglary Charges
Burglary is sometimes called breaking and entering. It involves entering someone else’s property without their permission and with the intent of stealing something or committing another felony offense. Even if the defendant did not carry out the intended crime, they may still be charged with burglary. This criminal offense may be charged at the misdemeanor or felony level. A person charged with burglary in the first degree may receive a strike against them under California’s Three Strikes Law if they are convicted. Moreover, first-degree burglary charges in California may lead to up to six years in a state facility and as much as $10,000 in fines. Second-degree burglary convictions often translate into three years in prison and $10,000 in total fines. Even a misdemeanor burglary conviction in California can mean one year in county jail and $1,000 in fines. Clearly, you need a capable Los Angeles burglary lawyer if you are facing these charges.
Theft crimes do not always involve stealing merchandise or breaking into residences. Money laundering is also considered a theft crime in California. Anyone who profits monetarily from committing a crime and then passes the funds through a legitimate or apparently legitimate business to make the money appear legal may be accused of money laundering. Being accused of this theft crime makes hiring an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense firm imperative. That’s because you may be faced with as much as 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000 or more.
Los Angeles Embezzlement Charges
In normal business operations, it is common practice to entrust assets to certain employees. From overseeing a petty cash fund to balancing the books for a multi-national corporation, any employee who handles valuable assets on someone else’s behalf may be vulnerable to charges of embezzlement. The penalties for an embezzlement conviction in California vary depending upon the value of the property that was stolen. Even petty theft embezzlement charges can mean a jail sentence of as much as six months and a sizable fine. If you are convicted at the felony level, you may spend as much as one year in jail or three years in prison in addition to being ordered to pay fines.
Robbery Charges in Los Angeles
Robbery is another common theft crime. You must contact a Los Angeles robbery attorney if you have been accused of removing an item of property directly from its owner. If you are convicted of felony robbery in California, then you may be looking at a prison sentence of between three and nine years. When prosecutors believe that a weapon was used during the robbery, the consequences can be even more serious.
Receiving Stolen Property in California
When a person wrongfully acquires an item of property and then gives it or sells it to someone else, the recipient may be charged with receiving stolen property. A conviction may be nearly certain if the prosecutor can establish that the recipient had reasonable grounds on which to believe that the goods were stolen at the time of purchase. If you have been accused of receiving stolen property, you may be convicted and sentenced to time in jail and fines. You need a competent California theft crimes attorney to represent your interests.
Receiving, Possessing or Selling Counterfeit Goods
Many people in Los Angeles are anxious to project the right image. Part of this may involve using and displaying high-end luxury items. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to afford these products. That’s why there is a market for knock-offs or counterfeit goods. The bad news is that providing these counterfeit items can spell bad news for defendants with convictions resulting in as much as three years in jail and steep fines.
Hire a Los Angeles Theft Crimes Lawyer
If you have been accused of these or any similar crime, then you need a Los Angeles theft crimes attorney working on your case. Being convicted of any of these offenses carries serious consequences that may affect you for the rest of your life. Contact one of our aggressive criminal defense attorneys today.