Los Angeles Grand Theft Lawyer
The crime of grand theft in the state of California is theft of property valued at more than $950. Unlike a conviction of petty theft (the theft of property valued at $950 or less, often associated with shoplifting), a conviction of grand theft can be tried as a felony offense, which could include time in a California state prison, fines, restitution and other penalties.
California law distinguishes between grand theft and petty theft depending upon the value of the property the crime involves. More serious than petty theft, grand theft involves money, property, or labor valued at $950 or more. PC 487, the California Penal Code that governs theft, also includes certain exceptions to the $950 requirement which can elevate a petty theft to a grand theft. For instance, a prosecutor can elevate a petty theft charge to a grand theft one if the theft involves:
- More than $250 in domestic livestock, aquacultural products, or farm goods.
- More than $950 in labor over a twelve month period.
- Property taken from a victim’s person.
- Certain types of taken property like a firearm, horse, livestock, or car.
In order to prove theft in California, a prosecutor must establish that the defendant intended to permanently withhold or take a property owner’s possession or right to the alleged stolen property, thus creating some often-used defenses in a grand theft case that might include:
- A claim by the defendant that he or she claims ownership or a right to possession of the alleged stolen article or property.
- A mistake of some fact of law.
- A claim that the defendant possessed the property at the owner’s consent.
- A charge of entrapment by law enforcement.
- A claim of intoxication resulting in a lack of intent on the part of the defendant to steal the property.
Penalties for Grand Theft
According to California law, if convicted of a crime of grand theft, you may face up to 16 months in state prison, with the possibility of another three years in state prison being tacked on to your sentence for grand theft auto. Another factor that could affect the penalties assigned to a grand theft conviction includes any prior criminal convictions, which could result in additional penalties as determined by a judge or jury.
Defense of a Grand Theft Charge in Los Angeles Requires the Skill of an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
A skilled grand theft criminal defense lawyer can provide you with the guidance and representation you need to avoid or minimize these penalties. By conducting an exhaustive evaluation of your grand theft charge, a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer like R.J. Manuelian can build a defense strategy that will be strong, effective, and ensure that you obtain the most positive result possible.