If you have been charged with theft in California, a criminal defense lawyer with experience can help you fight the charges. Those who have committed a crime are typically good people who have made a mistake, so they should be given every opportunity to have a second chance. In addition, there are instances when innocent people are accused and charged with theft because of false or misleading evidence.
Individuals who are convicted of theft in California may have a difficult time getting a job, license, or many additional benefits. It is true that many theft convictions can be expunged after time, but the charge will still be visible on background checks. Many individuals who have been convicted of theft will have problems gaining employment as they may be seen as dishonest to a potential employer.
Furthermore, most theft charges in California are thought to be crimes of moral turpitude, which means certain license boards can deny an applicant licenses or certifications based on previous theft convictions. Those who are applying for a nursing, real estate, or other professional license may be turned down if they have been convicted of theft. Moreover, individuals who have been convicted of theft could face problems getting a visa or green card.
What is Proposition 47?
Proposition 47 was passed in November of 2014, which stated certain felony crimes would be considered misdemeanors. Those who have been convicted of the following felony theft convictions could be eligible to have their sentences reduced:
- Check fraud
- Grand theft firearm
- Grand theft auto
- Receiving stolen property
California Theft Charge Defenses
Those who have been convicted of theft have ways to fight the charge. An experienced legal team (with skilled attorneys) understands how to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding the case to determine an effective defensive approach. In addition, an experienced attorney can also negotiate with a judge or prosecutor about a possible dismissal or reducing the charges. Many prosecutors and judges take note when individuals don’t have criminal records, and they can be understanding to situations of those who have just made an unfortunate mistake.
Theft Crimes in California
In California, there are several types of theft an individual may be charged with, which include the following:
According to California Penal Code 484 and 488, an individual who steals property that is worth up to $950 has committed petty theft. This offense is a misdemeanor, but if an individual is convicted of a second petty theft offense, he or she may be charged with a felony.
California Penal Code 487 states that grand theft is when an individual steals property that is worth more than $950 and could be a felony or misdemeanor.
Grand Theft of a Firearm
Stealing any type of firearm is considered grand theft. If the value of the firearm is more than $950, then it is a felony charge.
Grand Theft Auto
A grand theft auto charge is when the value of the automobile exceeds $950. If the value is under the mentioned amount, it is considered petty theft.
Burglary is when an individual enters a building or structure with the intention to steal. It is important to note that when the structure is an inhabited home, those charged will receive one strike pursuant to the California Three Strikes Law.
Automobile burglary occurs when individuals break into a locked automobile with the intentions of stealing the automobile.
According to California Penal Code 459.5, shoplifting is when an individual enters a commercial business with the intentions of committing petty theft while inside the establishment.
Receiving Stolen Property
Receiving stolen property is when individuals knowingly take property that they know is stolen.
In California, robbery occurs when an individual uses violence, threats, or force to steal property from another individual’s possession, and this crime is also considered to be a strike under the California Three Strikes Law.
Carjacking is when one person takes another individual’s car by fore, threat, or violence.
If you have been charged with theft and need legal help, contact our Los Angeles theft attorneys today. We have the knowledge and experience to provide you with the legal guidance you need.