A 2009, the United States Census showed that the number of theft offenses nationwide equaled over six million. The same census showed California with over six hundred thousand offenses of theft that year. What does this mean for you and your theft charge? You won’t be going to court with an easy case. The prosecution is expert at judging this crime and knows almost every situation that may surround your arrest.
If you find yourself charged with theft, don’t make the mistake of trying to defend yourself in court. Make the call to the Law Offices of Bradley R. Corbett, where we can provide you with an experienced San Diego theft defense attorney for your case.
Penal Code 484
According to California Penal Code 484, a person may be charged with theft when they feloniously steal, take, carry, lead, or drive away the personal property of another. That is only the beginning of the definition. The penal code continues to define all the ways a person can commit theft. If you have been charged with theft, a San Diego criminal defense attorney can help you understand what your actual charges are. The two most common accusations are different magnitudes of theft: petty theft and grand theft.
A person will be charged for petty theft when the property value of items stolen equals $950 or less. Oftentimes, shoplifting, purse snatching, and pick-pocketing, are all considered petty theft. If the value of the items stolen is greater than $950, the thief has then committed a crime of grand theft and may be tried as a felon.
Grand theft may be considered a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the value of the property that was stolen. Legislature has set the minimum value to $950. When the value of the stolen items is greater than $950, it can be charged as a felony. Our office will provide you with a San Diego criminal defense lawyer practiced and knowledgeable in theft cases. Our team is proven to be successful in getting cases dismissed or charges reduced.
When the property stolen is worth less than $950 and is not considered a vehicle. Firearms are considered a misdemeanor. A person may face a maximum sentence of six months in county jail and/or fine up to $1,000.
When the property stolen is worth more than $950 then the violation becomes a grand theft. Grant theft in California is known as a wobbler, which means a person could be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony. If it’s considered a misdemeanor a person may face a maximum sentence of one year in country jail. If it’s considered a felony the person may face between 16 months to three years in prison. However, if the crime involves a firearm it will always be charged as a felony.
Theft of Apportion of Lost Property California Penal Code 485
California Penal Code 485 says if a person finds someone else’s property and there are hints of whom it belongs to, the persons must use reasonable means to find the rightful owner. Possession is a big factor in theft of appropriation of lost property. There are two different types of possession 1) Actual and 2) Constructive possession. There are two common defenses to California Penal Code 485.
The person physically possesses the property. Actual possession may be legal or illegal depending on 1) The finders state of mind during the taking of the property and 2) The circumstances.
The person does not physically posses the property, nevertheless has the right to control it. Whenever a person loses their property they still hold the right to control it until someone else takes actual possession.
The two common defenses to California Penal Code 485 are 1) Lack of knowledge and 2) The person-lacked intent to deprive owner of property permanently.
Lack of Knowledge
If the person finds lost property and the person does not reasonable believe that the true owner will be revealed, then he or she is entitled to the property.
Lack of Intent permanently
Temporary taking of an owner’s property is considered stealing. If a person finds lost property and intends to use it for a specific time before returning it to its true owner, he or she will not be charged with Penal Code 485.
A person who has violated California Penal Code 485 could face an infraction, misdemeanor, or a felony depends on the 1) The facts from the case and 2) The persons criminal history. If the person is charged with a felony, he or she will face a maximum of three years in California state prison and a fine up to $10,000. If the person is charged with a misdemeanor then the person faces a maximum sentence of one year in county jail and a fine up to $1,000. If the property taken is worth less than $950 then it’s considered a petty theft in California. Petty theft is a misdemeanor and he or she will face a maximum sentence of six months in county jail and a fine up to $1,000.
California Penal Code 485 is also considered a wobbler between a misdemeanor and a infraction. The court will look at 1) The facts surrounding the situation and 2) The persons criminal history to decide to charge it as either an infraction or misdemeanor. If the person is charged with an infraction the person faces a maximum fine of $250 with no jail time.
Why Call the Law Offices of Bradley R. Corbett?
Our team has proven results for cases of petty theft, embezzlement, and other theft crimes. We work hard to protect your rights. Your San Diego criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Bradley R. Corbett will investigate your case and gather evidence in your defense. We will work tirelessly in order to achieve the best results in court for you. If you want a team that will back you up every step of the way, call us today for your free case consultation.