Petty Theft | Shoplifting | Grand Theft | Burglary | Robbery | Theft Diversion
A theft can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony and may be classified under several separate charge types. Consequences for a theft offense can include: State Prison, County Jail, Community Labor, Community Service, Fines, Immigration consequences, and other consequences
There are two main categories of theft in California:
PETTY THEFT (Penal Code 484/ Penal Code 488)
Petty theft is charged when the value of the items stolen are less than $950. This includes most shoplifting cases. First time petty theft offenses are charged as misdemeanors, however if you have previously been convicted three or more times of petty theft, grand theft, auto theft under Vehicle Code 10851, burglary, carjacking, robbery or a felony violation of section 496 and having served a term in any penal institution or having been imprisoned as a condition of probation for that offense, a subsequent petty theft may be charged under Penal Code 666 (Petty Theft With a Priors), and punishment include up to one year in county jail, or in state prison.
Penalty for Petty Theft: If convicted of a petty theft, the penalty can vary. The maximum possible penalty for conviction of Petty Theft is 6 months in county jail, $1,000 fine, or both. Note that that is the maximum penalty, and even if the conviction can not be reduced or dismissed, it is unlikely that a prosecutor would be looking for the maximum penalty.
GRAND THEFT (Penal Code 487)
In most cases, grand theft occurs when the property allegedly stolen is over $400 in value. Grand theft can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.
ALTERNATIVE SENTENCING; THEFT DIVERSION
Often, we are able to work out a deal with the Court called “Diversion” in order to get your charges reduced or dismissed. For more information on how Theft Diversion works, please contact our office.
In many theft cases, we can contact the victim and offer what is known as a “civil compromise.” This means that the victim will accept repayment or return of any stolen property and in return they will recommend to the prosecutor that the charges be dropped. It is important begin working on civil compromise options as early as possible, and to verify that the Court will except the civil compromise to dismiss charges before committing to such an agreement. If you think a civil compromise may be a possibility in your case, it is important to retain our office as soon as possible so we may begin working on this option before it is too late.
RECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY (Penal Code 496)
To prove that a defendant received stolen property the prosecution must prove that you or a loved one:
1) Bought, sold, received, aided in selling, hid or aided in hiding stolen property, 2) Knew the properly had been stolen, AND 3) Knew that property was in their possession
Often, people end up with gifts, or buy things from others not knowing they ended up with stolen property. If this has happened to you, we can help you get through it. Contact the Law Office of Philip D. Hache at (818) 336-1386
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