California Law defines theft as the unlawful taking away of someone else’s property, with the intention of keeping it. Theft crimes are serious, and can carry with them many thousands of dollars in fines and state prison time depending on different circumstances, including the value of the item or items stolen.
Petty theft and shoplifting are two of the most prosecuted crimes in California. If you have been arrested and charged with theft in Santa Ana, California, it is important to have a competent attorney fighting for your rights. Thefts can range from simple misdemeanors and fines to felonies with years in state prison. A theft charge is not something you want to face alone in court. Contact theft defense Attorney David Gonzalez today for a free consultation regarding your specific case.
Definition and Penalties for Theft Crimes
Theft is a very serious crime and is prosecuted to the full extent of the law in California. Convictions can result in jail time, state prison time, high fines and restitution. Depending on circumstances, you may be charged with:
- Grand Theft
- Grand Theft Auto
- False Pretenses
- Receipt of Stolen Property
- Identity Theft
Theft crimes are usually divided into two main categories, petty theft and grand theft. The dividing line is the value of the item stolen. If the value of the item stolen is less than $400, then the crime is considered a petty theft, or shoplifting. California prosecutes petty theft seriously and first time offenders could face up to one year in jail in addition to $200 in fines and restitution. Petty theft with a prior is generally charged as a felony and can result in time in state prison. If the property or money stolen is worth more than $400, the charge will be grand theft, which can either be a misdemeanor or felony. A felony conviction of grand theft can result in one year in county jail or up to 16 months in a state prison.
Protect Your Rights
If you have been arrested and charged with any type of theft crime, you need to have a competent, experienced attorney on your side. Having an attorney defending your legal rights can be the difference between spending the next year in jail or maintaining your freedom. Not all theft convictions have to result in jail time so having an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney like David Gonzalez on your side can help you avoid jail. Contact Attorney David Gonzalez today for a consultation regarding your case.