San Diego Theft Crimes Criminal Defense Lawyer

Burglary

California Penal Code 459 PC

Burglary is a wobbler, and under California Penal Code 459 PC can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. Burglary is the entering of a structure, room or locked vehicle, with the intent to commit a felony (or a petty theft). While Burglary is often referred to as "breaking and entering," there is no requirement that you actual break-in, only enter.

 

Burglary of a house, apartment, hotel room or any other structure where people are living is always considered a felony in California and is called "First Degree Burglary." A burglary at a store, business or any place where people are not living is called second degree burglary, and the prosecutor may elect to charge the offense as either a misdemeanor or a felony. For more information on burglary, including legal definitions, examples of, and defenses to a charge of burglary, CLICK HERE.

Carjacking

California Penal Code 215 PC

Carjacking is basically robbery of a vehcile - that is, the taking of a vehicle by force, threat or fear. Carjacking is a very serious felony in California, and you can be imprisioned for up to 9 years if you injure a victim, use a gun, or steal the car with the person still inside. A carjacking is a strike under California three strikes law, and because it is considered a serious felony, you must serve at least 85% of your sentence before you ar eligible for parole. If you have been accused of carjacking, it is important to call an experienced San Diego criminal lawyer immediate. Getting in front of the charge increases your liklihood of getting your charge reduced or dismissed, and preventing a life-altering conviction.  

Embezzlement

California Penal Code 503 PC

Embezzlement is the fraudulent appropriation of property that belongs to someone else, and has been entrusted to you. When people here "embezzlement" most people think the charge involves large sums of money, possibly over millions of dollars. The reality is that most embezzlement charges are filed against employees for multiple relatively small-value thefts - such as skimming from the cash register, or eating food at a restaurant over a long period of time.  

 

Embezzlement charges are serious, and could potentially be charged as a felony if the amount in question exceeds $950 (making it a form of Grand Theft, as opposed to petty theft). San Diego criminal lawyer Nicholas Moore has experience defending over $14 million dollars of embezzlement charges at trial and appeal. For more information on embezzlement laws, including penal codes, legal definitions, examples of, and defenses to embezzlement charges, CLICK HERE

 

 

Petty Theft

California Penal Code 484 PC, and California Penal Code 488 PC

Petty theft is the taking of someone else's property and the value of the property is less than $950. The vast majority of petty theft cases result from someone physically taking property that belongs to somebody else. This is also described as "theft by larceny." There are multiple "theories of theft," that can be used to describe a petty theft, including theft by trick (such as changing the price tag on an item in a store so that you can buy it for less), fraud or false pretense (telling a lie to a person to persuade them to give you their property).  

 

Shoplifting, as defined in California Penal Code 459.5 is also a form of petty theft, if the value of the merchandise totals less than $950 - It does not take much for a shoplifting to rise to the level of grand theft, if done at a nice department store. If you or a loved one has been charged with petty theft, it is important to hire an experienced San Diego criminal lawyer to contest these charges. A petty theft conviction can have long term consequences on your career and reputation, even if you serve no jail time. 

 

 

Grand Theft

​California Penal Code 487 PC

Grand theft is defined as the unlawful taking of property and the value of that property is more than $950. Just as with petty theft, there are multiple "theories of theft," including theft by force (robbery), theft by trick (switching price tags on an item in a store), or theft by fraud or false pretenses (telling a lie to convince somebody to part with their property).

 

Grand theft is a wobbler, and the prosecutor may choose to charge you with either a felony or a misdemeanor. If charged as a misdemeanor, the penalty for a grand theft conviction is up to 1 year in county jail. If charged as a felony, the penalty for a grand theft conviction can range from 16 months to 3 years in prison.  For more information on Grand Theft, include legal definitions, examples of, and defenses to a charge of Grand Theft, CLICK HERE. 

 

 

Grand Theft Firearm

California Penal Code 487(d)(2) PC

Stealing a gun is a crime called Grand Theft Firearm. There are two ways a person can be charged with "Grand Theft Firearm," the first is by stealing a gun worth more than $950, and the second is by stealing any gun while on probation or while on a sex offender registry. For more information on Grand Theft Firearm, including definitions, examples of, and defenses to a charge under California Penal Code 487(d)(2) PC, CLICK HERE

Grand Theft Auto

California Penal Code 487(d)(1) PC

California Vehicle Code 10851 VC

Popularized by the eponymous video game, Grand Theft Auto is a very serious crime. Grand Theft Auto is a wobbler (though almost always charged as a felony) under California Penal Code 487(d)(1) PC, and "Joyriding," the unlawful taking or driving of a vehicle under Vehicle Code 10851, is a wobbler and may be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. The disticintion between these two crimes is the amount of time one intended to keep the stolen vehicle. If the prosecutor can establish that you intended to permanently deprive the owner of their vehicle, then it will likely be charged as felony grand theft auto. If you intend to abandon or return the car, then you may be charged with joy-riding. 

ing," that they could potentially be charged under this statute.  

 

If you or a family member is concerned that they may be charged with Grand theft auto, you need to call a San Diego criminal lawyer immediately. For more information on California Penal Code 487(d)(1), including legal definitions, examples of, and defenses to a charge of Grand Theft Auto, CLICK HERE. 

 

 

Receiving Stolen Property

California Penal Code 496 PC

Receiving stolen property in California can carry harsh penalties. Penal Code 496 PC makes it a crime for a person to buy, receive, conceal, sell or withhold from the true owner any property that they know has been stolen. The knowledge a person must have may be imputed by the circumstances (for example, if someone offers you a real Rolex for $500, there is a good chance it is stolen and you should know that it is likely to be stolen). If you have been accused of receiving, selling or withholding stolen property, contact a San Diego criminal lawyer immediately. Often times an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney can clear up any confusion and prevent charges from being filed. For more information on California Penal Code 496 PC, including legal definitions, examples of and defenses to a charge of receiving stolen property, CLICK HERE.  

 

 

Robbery

California Penal Code 211 PC

Robbery is the unlawful taking of property from a person by force, threat or fear. The property must have been taken from the person's immediate presence in order to be charged as robbery under California Penal Code 211 PC.  Robbery is always a felony under California law, and the penalties for a robbery conviction depend heavily on the circumstances and whether it is proven that you committed first or second degree robbery. Honest belief of a right to property is a common and successful defense. However, if you believe somebody is in possession of your property, rather than try and take it from them by force, fear or threat, call a San Diego criminal lawyer today. Only an experienced San Diego criminal lawyer can make sure you will get your property back, without worrying about criminal charges. For more information on California Penal Code 211 PC, including legal definitions, examples of and defenses to a charge of robbery, CLICK HERE

 

 

Theft Crimes

Explained by a San Diego Criminal Lawyer

 

People charged with theft crimes are often good and productive members of society who have simply made an unfortunate mistake - and they deserve a second chance rather than punitive punishment. Equally as common is an issue of mistaken identity resulting in an innocent person being wrongly accused of a theft crime. A theft conviction in California can make it especially difficult for a person to find employment. A potential employer may view a theft conviction as a sign that a potential employee is not trust-worthy. Many thefts are charged as misdemeanors, making them a prime candidate for expungement.

 

A San Diego criminal lawyer can help you fight your theft charges, often obtaining either a reduced charge in exchange for a plea, or an outright dismissal. Many theft charges also fall under the newly passed Prop 47, and an experienced San Diego criminal lawyer can explain to you the process of reducing a felony theft charge to a misdemeanor under prop 47.  

Practice Areas

San Diego Criminal Defense

101 W. Broadway, Suite 1770 | San Diego, CA 92101

This site is for information only. Use of this website does not create an attorney client relationship. This site is not legal advice. Legal advice is specific direction related to the unique circumstances of your legal issue. This website is not a substitute for a consultation with a California licensed criminal defense attorney. We invite you to contact us with any legal or criminal defense question you might have. 

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