Taking someone else’s property without permission is a serious crime in Los Angeles. When you’re accused of any theft crime, it comes with a potential jail time. A conviction could also mean hefty fines, restitution to the victim, probation, and a criminal record.

Working with a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can help ensure that your freedoms are protected and help you resolve the matter without ending up in jail or with a tainted criminal record. Learn the consequences of these crimes and what defense strategies could provide the best chance of success.

What’s The Difference Between Theft, Shoplifting, Robbery, and Burglary?

You need to understand how these property crimes are defined to understand your charges better.

  • Theft is intentionally taking someone else’s property or belonging
  • Shoplifting is defined as the theft of merchandise from a store
  • Robbery is taking someone else’s property using force
  • Burglary is the unlawful entering of a business or residential property with the intention of stealing property

In the many cases we’ve handled, these property crimes emanate from a misunderstanding or a one-time incident. But we believe that none should suffer for the rest of their life because of a one-time mistake. You deserve a diligent criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles to defend you against harsh penalties.

What Are the Penalties for Petty Theft in L.A.?

If you take someone’s property without their permission and the property is valued at under $950, a petty theft charge will be brought against you. Petty theft may be in the form of larceny, embezzlement, trick, or false pretenses.

Petty theft is a misdemeanor if you don’t have a prior criminal record. It carries a penalty of up to six months in county jail, a maximum fine of $1,000, or both. If the offender had a previous criminal record, the charge might be a misdemeanor carrying up to one year in jail or a felony carrying up to 16 months, two years, or three years in jail. Let a Los Angeles theft crime attorney inform you which instances result in such penalties.

Petty Theft Defenses

You may use these defenses to fight petty theft charges:

  • You honestly thought the property was yours
  • Your intention wasn’t to steal
  • You had prior permission from the owner
  • False accusation

What Are the Penalties for Grand Theft in Los Angeles?

Grand theft is stealing someone’s property valued at more than $950 or theft of any kind of firearm. Grand theft is a wobbler and can either be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. As a misdemeanor, it carries up to one year in jail, while a felony like stealing a firearm can carry 16 months, two years, or three years in state prison.

You may defend yourself against grand theft in California by stating insufficient evidence, or you had reasonable belief that the property belonged to you.

What Are the Penalties for Grand Theft Auto in CA?

Grand theft auto is also called vehicle theft. This is unlawful taking or driving someone else’s vehicle without permission. Stealing someone else’s vehicle as a first-time offender is a misdemeanor with one year in county jail. If it’s charged as a felony, it will attract up to 3 years in state prison.

Stealing an ambulance, disabled placard car, or police car comes with a two to four-year state prison sentence. One more year may be added to the penalty if the offender knew or should have known the type of car s/he stole. Your Los Angeles theft crime attorney should ensure that you’re charged correctly and that the prosecution isn’t taking advantage of the situation to suppress your rights.

What Are the Penalties for Identity Theft?

Identity theft in California involves stealing someone’s identity for your own personal gain. This is also a wobbler and can be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of the case.
A misdemeanor carries one year in county jail plus a fine. A felony bears up to three years in jail, including fines.

What Are the Consequences of Shoplifting in Los Angeles?

Shoplifting is a type of burglary that is basically stealing from a store. It is a misdemeanor if the value of the stolen goods is below $950, and the penalty is up to 6 months in county jail.

One defense strategy your shoplifting defense attorney in Los Angeles may use is arguing that you had good faith to believe the property was yours or was legally entitled to you.

What Is Looting in California?

If you commit petty theft or grand theft during a local emergency, state of emergency, or evacuation order, that is looting. Looting items valued over $950 may be a misdemeanor carrying up to one year in jail or a felony carrying 16 months, two years, or three years in jail. If it is a petty theft below $950, it will carry up to six months in jail.

What Are the Penalties of Embezzlement in Los Angeles?

Embezzlement is stealing while serving as an employee or trustee of the business. It is also a wobbler and can either be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances.

If the embezzled property is less than $950, it will be charged as a misdemeanor carrying up to six months in county jail and/or $1,000 in fines. If it’s a felony charge, it carries up to three years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.

How Is Carjacking Punished in California?

Carjacking is a violent theft charge in California. It is a serious felony charge which needs the help of an experienced Los Angeles theft crime attorney. A conviction carries three, five or nine years in state prison and fines of up to $10,000.

Get Legal Assistance from A Skilled and Experienced Criminal Defense Representative

If you’re being investigated or charged with any theft crime, your freedom may be on the line. California has serious consequences for theft, including petty theft. A conviction can take away your freedom, and hurt your future chances of getting a loan, housing or a job.

We understand that an accusation doesn’t necessarily mean you are guilty of the crime. Whether these accusations are based on misunderstanding, a mistake or any other reason, we are ready to help you fight them. Let our criminal defense attorney build a strong defensive strategy for you. Get in touch today to get started.