Theft, in the most basic sense, occurs any time someone takes property that belongs to someone else. There are a number of different categories of theft under California law. The category that a crime falls into depends mostly on the value of the property that was stolen. Simple theft, commonly known as petty theft, usually requires a value of less than $950. If the value of the stolen property is higher than $950, the charge will most likely be grand theft.
In most cases, petty theft is a misdemeanor. Grand theft is typically charged as a felony. Naturally, the punishments for a felony are more serious than the consequences for a misdemeanor.
There are also other types of theft that occur, and have related charges. Embezzlement entails stealing property that belongs to an employer. For example, embezzlement occurs when an accountant who is in a trusted relationship suddenly begins fixing the books and taking money from his employer.
Other crimes include burglary, which is breaking into somebody’s home; and robbery, where violence is used during the theft. Bank robbery and some other types of thefts may even be considered federal crimes. The charges you receive are based on the facts of the case, what was stolen, and where it was stolen from.Theft With a Weapon
When a weapon is used during a theft, the charges are almost always escalated. The charges become “robbery with a weapon” and the consequences are much more serious. In addition, you may receive a strike under California’s “three strikes” system.
The type of weapon used can increase the seriousness of these charges even more. If gun is used, you are potentially adding on a gun enhancement. This increases the amount of prison time you will serve if convicted.Possible Consequences of a Theft Conviction
Even a misdemeanor petty theft conviction can have some pretty serious consequences. These include:
- Up to six months in county jail
- Up to three years of probation
- A $1,000 fine
Attorney Pabla may be able to get this charge reduced to an infraction, especially if the stolen property has low value and the client does not have a criminal history. In some cases, Mr. Pabla can also have the charge dismissed pending the client’s completion of theft education classes.
A felony grand theft conviction almost always calls for time in state prison. Depending on the client’s criminal history and the facts of the case, the sentence can vary from 16 months to 2 or 3 years.Criminal Defense Attorney’s Pabla’s Theft Defense Experience
Attorney Pabla has represented clients accused of theft and theft-related crimes for more than 18 years. He has worked with clients facing charges ranging from misdemeanors to robbery with a weapon, residential burglary, commercial burglaries, and embezzlement involving employers and employees.Benefits of Using The Law Office of Param S. Pabla
Defense attorney Pabla is dedicated to exploring every aspect of each case, and working to reduce the impact the arrest has on his clients’ lives. Sometimes he is able to get clients into a program where they take a theft education class, and potentially the charge could be dismissed. He also has been able to reduce a potentially serious crime, such as a felony theft, down to a misdemeanor. A robbery charge may be reduced to a grand theft charge. This type of defense strategy often greatly reduces the impact of the arrest, conviction and sentence.
In one recent case, Mr. Pabla represented a client whose cousin was inappropriately using the identity of the client. When the relative was arrested, he claimed to be the client, who was then falsely charged. Through investigation, he discovered a video of the incident from the Los Angeles Wal-Mart there the theft took place. After advising and viewing the video, he advised the District Attorney that the video evidence proved the wrong man was arrested. When the authorities watched the video, they agreed. All charges were dropped against the client. The cousin was already incarcerated on other charges, so the D.A. was able to charge him with the theft as well as using a false identity and endangering another’s freedom.
It takes exhaustive investigation at times, but Criminal Defense Attorney Pabla has the necessary skill and depth of experience to know what is required to defend each client. He will aggressively protect the rights and future of every client. If you need help with your theft defense, call our office immediately (916) 285-7900.