Theft is defined as the unlawful taking of another person’s property. The property in question can be anything, from a piece of jewelry to millions of dollars in cash. You’ll need a seasoned Chula Vista Theft Defense attorney to defend you from charges of theft crimes aggressively.
No matter what the charge you’re facing, don’t hesitate to call The Law Office of Troy P. Owens, Jr. Our legal counsel will walk you through the complexities of your case, educate you on the theft laws relevant to it, and work towards a favorable outcome.
Types of Theft Crimes in California
Under California law, theft can take many forms.
- Petty Theft – This is one of the most common types of theft. In this charge, the value of the property you allegedly stole is $950.00 or less.
- Shoplifting – You allegedly entered an establishment during its business hours and stole property worth less than $950.00. Shoplifting used to be considered a type of petty theft. Proposition 47, however, added this specific crime to the Penal Code. From then on, shoplifting has carried its own penalties.
- Grand Theft – This is another one of the most common charges in the state. The value of the allegedly stolen property exceeds $950.00. It could also be an automobile or a firearm.
- Robbery – This involves taking the property of another through force or fear. There are two types of robbery. First-degree robbery involves committing the crime in an inhabited dwelling, against drivers or passengers of public transportation, or people using ATMs or within the vicinity of an ATM. All other instances of robbery fall under the second-degree robbery
- Burglary – The prosecution can charge you with burglary if you allegedly entered the property of another person with the intention of committing a felony. Entering with criminal intent is, in itself, burglary, even if the felony wasn’t carried out. There are two types of burglary. First-degree burglary involves entering a residence, while second-degree burglary involves any other type of structure, like a store.
Penalties for Theft
Many theft charges are wobblers. This means the prosecutor can charge them as an infraction, a misdemeanor, or felony. The type of crime determines the penalties that a convicted individual would face. Our San Diego attorney will walk you through the possible penalties of the theft charges against you.
- Petty Theft – In many cases, petty theft is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum sentence of six months in the county jail, a $1000 fine, or both. If the stolen property is worth $50 or less, the prosecutor can charge it as an infraction, which carries a fine of up to $250.00.
- Shoplifting – This is a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to one year in a country jail. Additionally, the convicted individual could be liable to the store owner for damages (between $50 to $500) and the retail value of the shoplifted item, if it’s not recovered in a sellable condition.
- Grand Theft – If one is convicted of a misdemeanor, he or she faces a maximum sentence of one year in county jail. If convicted of a felony, he or she may face up to three years in state prison.
- Robbery – First-degree robbery carries a penalty of between three to nine years in a California state prison, while a second-degree robbery carries two, three, or five years in a state prison.
- Burglary – First degree burglary is a felony and carries a state prison sentence of two, four, or six years, while second-degree burglary can either be a misdemeanor (with a sentence of up to one year in the county jail) or a felony (16 months, two years, or three years in the county jail).
Apart from these sentences, a convicted individual also has a lifelong criminal record, which could affect his or her employment and loan applications, among others.
If you’re facing theft charges in California, reach out to our Chula Vista theft attorney right away. Troy P. Owens, Jr. will provide aggressive legal representation and give you the protection you deserve. Contact us for a free initial consultation.