Los Angeles Theft Crime Attorney
Theft is the unlawful taking of someone else’s personal property. Depending upon the nature and value of the stolen property and the suspect’s criminal history, theft can be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony in California. If you are charged with petty or grand theft or another related crime in Southern California, get legal help at once and call the LA theft crime attorneys with the Miranda Rights Law Firm.
Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Douglas Miranda has more than a decade of legal experience representing and defending clients charged with petty theft, grand theft, and related crimes. Don’t face the police, prosecutors and the court system alone; turn to an experienced defense lawyer to represent your interests and fight for your freedom.
AN EXPLANATION OF THEFT
Theft crimes in California are categorized as petty theft or grand theft depending on the value of what is stolen. Generally, petty theft is stealing something valued under $950, while stealing something worth more is grand theft. The theft of guns and cars is always grand theft.
Shoplifting is one of the most common petty theft charges in California. This crime occurs when someone enters a commercial establishment while it is open and doing business with the intent to commit petty theft once inside.
You can be charged with theft if you receive or purchase property that you know has been stolen. Even if you were not the one who stole the property, if you accept or purchase it with the knowledge that it is stolen, you may be charged with theft.
Mail theft is a serious theft crime in the state of California that involves knowingly taking mail from a mailbox, post office or letter carrier that belongs to someone else. Mail theft can also be charged if someone knowingly receives or steals someone else’s mail or removes its contents knowing it is stolen.
Certain white collar crimes can also be considered as theft crimes, including embezzlement. Embezzlement occurs when a person wrongfully steals or misappropriates property entrusted to him by the rightful owner.
You can also be charged with theft if you fail to return leased or rented property including rental cars, rental furniture, rented equipment, and even library books. The crime is automatically grand theft when the stolen property is an automobile, a firearm, or valued at more than $950. When the stolen property is certain agricultural and food items valued at more than $250, the charge is also grand theft.
If you are charged with theft, you may be innocent. You might have been misidentified or falsely accused, or the whole thing might be a big misunderstanding. You may have been under the impression that you were taking property that rightfully belonged to you, or that you had consent to take the stolen goods from the owner. Even if you did commit the theft, you may now realize that it was a big mistake and be remorseful. Your attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecution to lower the charges against you if you agree to repay the victim and complete a specific number of community service hours.
Before anyone can be convicted of any crime, a prosecutor must prove that person’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. To be convicted of theft, the prosecution must prove that:
- You took possession of someone else’s property without permission;
- You moved the property some distance – any distance – and kept it; and
- You intended to deprive the owner of the property permanently or long enough to deprive the owner of the majority of its value, and your intention existed before or during your commission of the larceny.
Proposition 47 has turned a number of felony crimes into misdemeanors. If you have been convicted of a felony theft crime including burglary, check fraud, grand theft of a firearm, receiving stolen property, forgery or grand theft auto, you may be eligible to have your charges reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. However, this is not a guarantee, so it’s best to speak to a lawyer about what legal options are available to you.
A conviction for petty theft can land you in jail in California for a year. If you’re convicted of grand theft, you could serve up to three years in prison. If you are charged with larceny in the Los Angeles area, get legal help and arrange to speak with an experienced Los Angeles theft lawyer as quickly as possible.
A RECORD OF LEGAL EXCELLENCE
Some thefts in California are misdemeanors while others are considered felonies. The charges are complicated; so are the defenses. Sometimes the prosecution does not have the evidence to prove guilt; in such cases, we seek to have the charge dropped. Even if there is evidence against you, it is sometimes possible to have the charge reduced or dismissed, especially if you are a first offender with no prior record. There’s never a guarantee in any particular criminal case, but if you face a theft charge in southern California, your best hope is an experienced Los Angeles theft crime attorney who has established a record of legal excellence. That lawyer is Los Angeles theft attorney Douglas Miranda.
One error in judgment – in a difficult situation – shouldn’t ruin your future. Many employers hesitate to hire anyone with a recent theft conviction, and a conviction can have other consequences beyond fines and jail time, such as:
- ineligibility for scholarships and other financial aid;
- driver’s license suspension;
- immigration consequences including deportation;
- difficulty finding a place to live if landlords don’t want to house someone with a theft conviction; and
- denial of professional licenses.
THE MOST EFFECTIVE POSSIBLE DEFENSE
If you are charged now or in the future with theft or another crime in Southern California, get the legal help you are really going to need. After examining your case, Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Douglas Miranda will outline your legal options and begin to develop the most effective possible defense.
At the Miranda Rights Law Firm, we serve clients throughout Los Angeles County and the surrounding region, representing clients accused of charges such as theft, robbery, identity theft and white collar crimes like credit card fraud. Our criminal defense lawyers take our responsibility to our clients seriously, and we put our experience to work for you, offering sound legal advice, resources and a highly strategic defense, helping you minimize your chances of seeing a conviction and penalties. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Los Angeles theft crimes attorney, contact us today. Send an email, or call 213-255-5838. Se habla español.