Facing theft charges can be both hectic and humiliating. Before progressing, it’s worth noting that theft is a broad offense. For instance, you could be charged with theft on the grounds of passing a bad check, theft of services, white-collar fraud, or even shoplifting. On the other hand, a conviction can have varying consequences, such as jail time, fines, and a bruised reputation. Read on to see a review of theft crime charges common in Los Angeles.
The crime of petty theft falls under misdemeanor crimes. One is charged with petty theft if they unlawfully take property not exceeding $950 in value without permission. A common example of petty theft is someone walking out of a grocery store with an item without paying for it.
However, for one to be convicted of petty theft in Los Angeles, the prosecutor must prove all the elements of crime. These include:
• The value of the property doesn’t exceed $950
• The intent was to deprive the owner of possession of their property permanently
• The owner did not consent
• You moved and kept the property for any period
As opposed to petty theft, grand theft refers to the unlawful acquiring of property whose value is above $950 without permission. Grand theft could be in the form of embezzlement, false pretenses, theft by automobile, and firearm.
In the court of law, the county prosecutor can either treat the case as a misdemeanor or a felony. In the case of a misdemeanor conviction, it could lead to informal probation, a fine, or six months in county jail. However, a felony conviction could attract three years in a state prison, up to three years of informal probation, or a fine, which can go up to $1000.
Identity theft is a form of white-collar fraud crime. As the name suggests, one commits an identity crime theft by stealing another person’s identity for personal gain.
Some of the elements for identity theft crime include:
• Using the victim’s information without consent
• Intentionally obtaining the victim’s personal information
• Unlawfully using the acquired information to acquire goods or services
Similar to grand theft, an identity theft case can be treated as a misdemeanor or a felony. The former carries one year in the county jail and a fine, while the latter carries fines and a jail term spanning up to three years.
Receiving Stolen Property
Receiving stolen property is a theft crime punishable by law in Los Angeles. Ideally, the Los Angeles prosecutor will rely on circumstantial evidence to prove the crime. For one to be convicted, there must be evidence that they were aware the property was stolen. For instance, concealing the property shows knowledge of the unlawfully acquired property.
The consequences of the conviction depend on the value of the stolen property. If it’s under $400, it is treated as a misdemeanor and carries up to one year in county jail and a fine. However, in the case that the property is valued at above $400, it becomes a felony, with more penalties.
Besides the aforementioned theft crimes in Los Angeles, there are several other crimes punishable by law. These include:
• Auto Burglary – California Penal Code Section 459
• Carjacking – California Penal Code Section 459.5
• Money Laundering – California Penal Code Section 186.10
• Joyriding – California Penal Code Section 10851
Why you Should Contact a Theft Crime Lawyer in Los Angeles
If you have recently been arrested or charged with a theft crime, it would be best to contact a theft crime attorney in Los Angeles. While you may think that you are familiar with the intricacies of the legal framework, a theft crime lawyer is better situated to research all the viable options and protect your rights. To stand better chances, it is advisable to contact a theft crime lawyer as soon as you can to avoid making any mistakes that could hurt your case.
Besides helping you maneuver the ins and outs of the legal process; the lawyer is the best shot you have as a spokesperson. When you allow a theft crime attorney to argue out your case on your behalf, you can be sure they will do so in a calm manner, which prevents instances of temper getting out of control.
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