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Contesting Theft Crime Charges

Theft crimes cover a broad range of offenses, from misdemeanors to felonies.

However, even misdemeanor offenses with relatively light penalties can have serious consequences for future employment, professional licensing, and immigration. Most California theft offenses are “crimes of moral turpitude” and can be used to deny licenses and certifications. They can also have immigration consequences, including deportation.

A skilled and experienced Los Angeles theft crimes attorney is your best defense against these serious collateral consequences. The attorneys at Moaddel Law Firm get to work immediately to determine whether the charges against you can be dismissed or defended at trial. They are also aggressive negotiators for reduced charges.  No matter the details of your case, we can uphold your rights.

Common Theft Offenses in CA–§ 211, § 215, § 459, § 469, § 484, § 487, § 488, § 503

Petty Theft

Penal Code §§ 484 and 488 define petty theft as stealing property valued at $950 or less. This offense is a misdemeanor; however, a second offense can be charged as a felony.[1]

Grand Theft

When the stolen property is valued at more than $950, the offense becomes grand theft, in violation of Penal Code § 487. This offense is what’s known as “wobbler,” meaning the prosecutor can charge it as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

Grand Theft of a Firearm

Under Penal Code § 487(d)(2), theft of a firearm is “grand theft,” regardless of the gun’s value. However, the firearm’s value will determine whether the offense will be charged as a misdemeanor or felony: stolen firearms of over $950 are felonies, otherwise they are misdemeanors. Penalties can range from sixteen months to three years in state prison.

Burglary

Under Penal Code § 459, burglary is entering a structure with the intent to commit a felony or burglary inside. “Residential burglary,” also known as first degree burglary, is burglary of a home or “inhabited dwelling.” First degree burglary is a felony, with penalties of two to six years in state prison. All other burglary, otherwise known as second degree burglary, can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony.

Shoplifting

Penal Code § 459.5 defines shoplifting as entering a commercial establishment during business hours with the intent to commit petty theft. Shoplifting is a misdemeanor, unless you have prior convictions for serious crimes, such as murder.

Embezzlement

Under Penal Code § 503, embezzlement is the stealing or misappropriation of property entrusted to you by the rightful owner. If the value of the property is $950 or less, the offense is a misdemeanor. If the value of the property is greater than $950, or the property is an automobile or firearm, the offense can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony.

Receiving Stolen Property

Under Penal Code § 469, receiving stolen property occurs when someone buys or receives goods that he or she knows, or should know, are stolen. If the value of the property is $950 or less, the offense is a misdemeanor. If the value of the property is greater than $950, the offense can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony.

Robbery

Penal Code § 211 defines robbery as taking personal property from another’s person or immediate presence, against his will, through force or fear. Robbery is a felony. Depending on the facts of the case, penalties can range from two years in state prison to nine years.

Carjacking

Carjacking is the robbery of a vehicle by the use of force or fear to take the vehicle from another person’s possession. Under Penal Code § 215, carjacking is a felony with a potential sentence of up to nine years in state prison, which can be increased if a victim was injured, a firearm was used, someone was kidnapped, or the carjacking was committed to benefit a gang.

Proposition 47

Proposition 47 reduced certain felonies to misdemeanors, including felony burglary, receiving stolen property, check fraud, forgery, grand theft firearm or grand theft auto, you may be eligible to have your conviction or sentence reduced under Proposition 47.

Trusted Theft Crimes Lawyers Serving Southern California

There is no time to waste building your legal defense if you have been charged.  A theft crime can seriously jeopardize your future, so speak with Moaddel Law Firm right away and retain a skilled Los Angeles defense attorney to protect your future.

Discuss your case with us today; call us at (877) 375-8188!

[1] Penal Code § 666 (Petty Theft with a Prior).