Generally, theft is the unlawful taking of another’s property with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of said property. In California, there are several different types of theft crimes. The most common types of theft crimes include:
- Petty Theft
- Grand Theft
- Receiving Stolen Property
However, there are many other types of theft such as:
- Theft by Larceny
- Theft as Part Of An Overall Plan
- Theft by False Pretense
- Theft by Trick
- Theft by Embezzlement
- Petty Theft With a Prior
Depending on the circumstances, the theft crime you can be charged with can be an infraction, misdemeanor, or felony. Often times the value of the property stolen will determine the level of crime you will be charged with. Value of the property won’t matter in certain cases such as cases of theft crimes alleging acts of violence. In those cases, you will most likely be facing a felony charge.
The punishment for theft crimes also depends on several factors, such as the level of crime being charged, the value of the property allegedly stolen, and the circumstances around the alleged crime. If charged, a defendant can be facing no jail time (infractions), up to six months to one year in jail (misdemeanors), and three or more years in prison (felonies).
Petty theft is a misdemeanor charge in California. Petty theft will be charged if a theft occurred and the property obtained was valued at $950.00 or less. Anything over $950.00 can and most likely will be charged as a Grand Theft, which is a felony.
Petty theft is punishable by imprisonment in county jail for up to six months, fines and fees, and restitution. (California Penal Code 490). Petty theft is also a crime of moral turpitude, which can affect sentencing issues.
A common added charge to a Petty Theft case is Burglary because the crimes are closely related. All is not lost if you are charged with petty theft, as there are several defenses available to any theft crime.
Grand theft is generally theft of property that is valued more than $950.00. There are also certain thefts that will be considered grand theft no matter the value of the property. Some common examples include theft of an automobile or a firearm.
Grand theft can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. A felony grand theft conviction is punishable for up to three years in prison or jail. A misdemeanor grand theft conviction is punishable by up to one year in jail. Sentencing can be increased for several reasons including having a prior theft conviction, committing acts of violence, or destroying property in the act of committing the theft.
If you were arrested for a theft crime, consult with an experienced Orange County Theft Crime Attorney. At the Law Offices of Nam Q. Doan | OC Legal Defense, I will aggressively fight for you in court and keep you out of jail or prison. Call today at (714) 248-DOAN (3626) and read the Theft Crimes section for more information.