Los Angeles Criminal Defense Firm

Grand Theft Person

Grand Theft Person is the crime of taking or stealing personal property of another, who is in lawful possession of the property. This crime is prosecuted under California Penal Code section 487(c) and can be charged as a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in county jail, or a felony punishable by up to three years in state prison. In Grand Theft Person the value of the property is not important. The only thing that matters is that the property be taken directly from the person. Example: A woman is sitting in a bus with her purse on her lap. A thief runs by her and snatches the purse and runs off.

Is Grand Theft Person the Same as Robbery?

Grand Theft Person should not be confused with the crime of Robbery. Robbery is the taking of personal property in the possession of another person, from a person or from his or her immediate presence, against the person's will, by means of force or fear.

In the bus stop example above, no force or fear is present as the victim was not even aware of the thief until after the theft. Robbery is prosecuted under Penal Code section 211 as a felony and is punishable by up to five years in state prison. Robbery is also a "Strike" under the California Three Strikes Law, and is classified as a California "violent felony." Grand Theft Person is neither a "Strike" nor a "violent felony."

If you are facing charges of Grand Theft Person it is critical to consult with a qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney to learn about your legal options.