Have you been arrested for theft crimes in Los Angeles, CA? If so, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend you against the charges. Depending on the facts of your case and the charges against you, you could face significant jail time and other life-changing criminal penalties.
The Law Office of Ryan Peabody represents clients facing theft crimes and other criminal charges. Attorney Ryan Peabody has more than a decade of experience practicing criminal law. Before beginning his law practice, he served as a public defender, which means he has extensive knowledge of the criminal justice system.
How the Law Office of Ryan Peabody Can Help You if You’ve Been Arrested for Theft Crimes in Los Angeles
If you are accused of a theft crime in Los Angeles, you need an experienced attorney at your side. Even a misdemeanor conviction for theft could result in jail time. Instead, you want the best criminal defense lawyer to protect your legal rights and defend you in court.
Our Los Angeles crimes theft lawyer at the Law Office of Ryan Peabody can help. Throughout his legal career, he has fiercely advocated for his clients during plea negotiations, hearings, and trials.
When you hire the Law Office of Ryan Peabody, you can trust we will give your case the attention and dedication required to achieve the best possible outcome. We help you fight theft charges by:
- Analyze your case and offer advice regarding your legal options
- Explain the potential consequences of a plea deal versus going to trial
- Investigate the theft charges to gather evidence to use in your defense
- Obtain copies of the evidence the prosecutor intends to present in court to determine the strength of the case against you
- Explore various defense strategies that could result in dismissal or a not guilty verdict
- Aggressively negotiate a satisfactory plea agreement if going to court is not the best option in your case
- Or present the best defense possible at a jury trial (The choice to take a deal or go to trial is 100% your decision)
Facing criminal charges can be overwhelming. It helps to have a seasoned Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer on your side. Call now to schedule a free case evaluation with our experienced theft crimes lawyer in Los Angeles, California.
California Laws for Theft Crimes
In general, theft is defined as taking someone’s property with the intent of depriving that person of the possession or use of their property. California has many laws that relate to theft. California Penal Code §484 states that someone is guilty of theft if they:
- Stealing, carrying, taking, leading, or driving away with personal property belonging to someone else (theft by larceny);
- Fraudulently taking property that has been entrusted to them (theft by embezzlement);
- Knowingly and by fraudulent or false representation takes another person’s money, real or personal property, or labor (theft by false pretense); OR,
- Causes or gets others to make false statements about their wealth or character to obtain credit and thereby get money, property, or obtain the service or labor of another person.
Theft can be classified by the value of the property stolen. Petty theft covers theft of property worth $950 or less. Grand theft covers property worth more than $950. However, other criminal statutes cover theft crimes that could apply, depending on the facts of the case.
Petty Theft Charges in California
California Penal Code §488 defines petty theft. To be charged under this code section, the defendant would need to have:
- Taken possession of someone else’s property that is worth $950 or less;
- Without the permission of the owner;
- Intending to deprive the owner of their property permanently; and,
- Moved the property from the owner’s possession and kept the property for some time.
Petty theft is typically a misdemeanor offense. However, you could be charged under Penal Code §666 if you have a prior theft conviction. This criminal offense is a wobbler, so you can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense.
Grand Theft Charges in California
California Penal Code §487 makes taking someone else’s property, money, or labor worth $950 or more without the owner’s permission makes it a crime. Grand theft is a wobbler, so you could face either a felony or misdemeanor charge.
Grand theft charges can also be filed if you steal someone’s property directly from their person. It also applies if you steal a motor vehicle or firearm, regardless of the property’s value.
Burglary Charges in California
California Penal Code §459 makes it unlawful to commit burglary. Burglary consists of entering a residential or commercial structure intending to commit a felony or theft. Even if you do not steal anything, if the prosecution can prove you entered the building intending to steal something, you can be charged with burglary.
First-degree burglary applies when the crime occurs in a residence. Second-degree burglary covers theft in a commercial building or structure.
Shoplifting can be charged as burglary if the person enters the store intending to steal items. Additionally, entering a locked vehicle to steal property, commit a felony, or steal the car can be charged as auto burglary.
Robbery Charges in California
Robbery differs from burglary and is defined under California Penal Code §211. Robbery occurs when you steal someone’s property directly from their person or immediate presence through force or fear. It is a felony offense.
You could be charged with robbery and burglary. If you break into someone’s home with the intent of stealing and threaten someone in the home before taking their property, you could be charged with both crimes.
Carjacking Charges in California
Carjacking occurs when you take someone’s vehicle from them by force or fear. It is a violent theft offense that counts as a strike under California’s Three Strikes Law.
Other Theft Crimes in California
The California Penal Code includes several other crimes that fall under the “theft crimes” umbrella because they involve taking someone’s property without their permission. Examples of other forms of theft include:
- Identity theft (PC §530.5)
- Credit card fraud (PC §484e)
- Mail theft (PC §530.5e)
- Theft by false pretenses or fraud (PC §532)
- Forgery (PC §470)
- Embezzlement (PC §503)
- Possession of burglary tools (PC §466)
- Making or selling counterfeit goods (PC §350)
- Writing a bad check (PC §476a)
- Money laundering (PC §186.10)
- Receiving stolen property (PC §496)
Each of these charges can result in severe penalties for a conviction. Whether the theft charge is a misdemeanor or felony depends on the specific law and other factors.
What Are the Penalties for Theft Charges in Los Angeles, CA?
The potential penalties for a theft conviction depend on the charges you face and the circumstances of the case. Your criminal history, aggravating factors, the value of the property, and using a weapon or force to commit the crime could increase the charges and/or penalties.
Most petty theft charges are misdemeanor offenses. Petty theft of up to $950 of personal property or cash usually carries up to 6 months in jail and/or $1,000 in fines.
Misdemeanor grand theft of over $950 in personal property or cash carries up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Felony grand theft results in 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
Burglary of a residence is a felony charge that carries a 2, 4, or 6-year prison sentence and/or a $10,000 fine. Auto burglary or burglary of a commercial structure is a wobbler offense and is punished like grand theft.
Robbery occurs when force or fear is used to steal property from someone’s immediate presence or person. It is a felony charge that could result in up to a 9-year prison sentence.
If this is your first theft crime, you might get probation, depending on the charges and the circumstances. Probation conditions could include:
- Paying full restitution to the victim
- Performing community service
- Taking a class about shoplifting
- Staying away from the victim or the place where the theft took place
- Not committing another crime while you are on probation
If possible, our Los Angeles theft crimes lawyer will work with you to avoid jail time for a theft conviction.
Are There Defenses to Los Angeles Theft Crimes?
We develop a defense strategy when we evaluate and investigate the criminal charges against you. The strategy might include one or more defenses to theft crimes, such as:
- Lack of intent to commit the offense or theft
- You had the right or believed you had the right to possess the property
- False accusations of theft
- You did not intend to permanently deprive the owner of their property
- You had the owner’s permission to take the property
- Your constitutional rights were violated
- The prosecution has failed to prove every element of your charges beyond a reasonable doubt
There may be procedural issues and defenses applicable to your case as well. Our legal team explores all possible defenses to develop a robust defense strategy.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Los Angeles Theft Crimes Lawyer
At the Law Office of Ryan Peabody, we are with you during every step of the criminal justice process. We provide trusted legal counsel, support, and guidance. You do not need to face this situation alone.
Contact our law office to request your free case review with an experienced Los Angeles crime theft lawyer.
Visit Our Criminal Defense Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA
Law Office of Ryan Peabody
5757 W Century Blvd #722
Los Angeles, CA 90045, United States
Our criminal defense law firm in Los Angeles, CA, also provides the following:
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- White Collar Crimes Lawyers in Los Angeles, CA
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- Criminal Defense Lawyers in Los Angeles, CA
Local resources in LA
Los Angeles Courts
- Stanley Mosk Courthouse
111 N Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States
- Spring Street Courthouse
Los Angeles Superior Court – 312 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States
- LA Superior Court
501 W 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States
Los Angeles Jails
- Men’s Central Jail
441 Bauchet St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States
- Twin Towers Correctional Facility 450 Bauchet St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States
- Los Angeles County Sheriff Men’s Central Jail 441 Bauchet St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States
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