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Los Angeles Theft Crime Attorney

California Theft Laws

Also called “larceny” or “petty theft,” theft happens when a person intentionally takes another individual’s property with the intention of stealing it. California statutes differentiate between two forms of theft: petty theft and grand theft. Generally speaking, grand theft is the theft of property worth more than $950.

Most individuals who are facing theft charges are honorable people with minimal or nonexistent criminal records; people who are innocent or who made an error and temporarily lost their way. You have rights under the Constitution that need protecting and if you retain our legal team, we will use our familiarity with the nuances of the various theft laws of California to do all that is possible to preserve your rights and secure a favorable result in your case.​​​​​​

If you have been charged with a theft crime, please contact a Los Angeles theft crime defense lawyer at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners before speaking to law enforcement or permitting a search of your property.

Types of Theft Crimes in California

Other examples of theft crimes, often considered white collar crimes because they are non-violent and occur in business or financial arenas, include:

Extortion can also be considered a type of theft crime, as a person is obtaining money or other valuable goods or services from another person through force or threats.

California Penalties for Theft

A theft charge can carry severe penalties in California. In most cases, theft is punishable by a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. If the stolen property is worth less than $50, this fine may be reduced to $250, depending on the defendant’s prior criminal history.

Charges can range from a minor shoplifting offense to grand theft, which can be charged as a felony and may result in a state prison sentence. There is no such thing as a "simple" theft crime. It all depends on the circumstances of the crime, such as the value of the property taken, any prior theft-related convictions, or other circumstances. For example, a theft crime involving the Internet crosses state lines and may therefore charged as a federal crime.

Robbery vs. Theft

Much like theft, robbery occurs when a person steals someone else’s property; however, robbery involves an additional factor: force. By definition, robbery is a more serious offense than theft because it involves the use of intimidation or physical force to take the victim’s property. Additionally, the defendant must take the property from the victim’s immediate person or presence.

In California, there are two types of robbery:

  • First degree
  • Second degree

First-degree robbery occurs in a building, residence, or dwelling. Second-degree robbery, on the other hand, is any form of robbery that doesn’t meet the qualifications for a first-degree crime and is punishable by two, three, or five years in prison.

California Burglary Laws

Unlike robbery and theft, a person can commit burglary without actually taking someone else’s belongings. Burglary typically involves theft, but the two crimes are not always linked. In order to commit burglary, a person must unlawfully enter a structure with the intent to commit a crime.

By law, the defendant doesn’t actually have to commit a crime; he /she only must enter the building unlawfully and with the intention of committing a crime.

Consult a Los Angeles Theft Crime Defense Attorney Now

If you have been arrested or accused of a theft crime, it is important to retain an attorney with experience in theft cases. There's no doubt that an attorney who is not as familiar with theft laws or as experienced in criminal defense may miss an important opportunity for dropped or reduced charges, or even acquittal.

It is imperative that you speak with a qualified attorney at our firm as soon as you are able after your charge so that we can properly evaluate all aspects of your case and develop a compelling defense strategy. We have successfully represented many clients in their theft cases and have been able to achieve excellent results in cases that at first did not appear defensible. We understand how to prepare a strong defense for theft crimes and have the experience to negotiate the best outcome for your case.

To obtain a legal defense that is a cut above the rest, contact a Los Angeles theft crime attorney at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners.

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