Los Angeles Theft Crimes Attorneys
If you are facing theft charges in Los Angeles, you could face incarceration, fines, probation and a criminal record that will change the direction of your life. An experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney can make all the difference by ensuring that your case is resolved without jail time and does not land on your criminal record.
If you are charged with a crime of theft, don’t wait. You need to contact Manshoory Law to build a defense against these charges. Your future both as a free person and as an employable person depends on it.
Penalties And Law For a Theft Crime
There are a wide variety of Theft Charges, ranging from misdemeanors to felonies. We handle every type of theft case and have achieved outstanding results. This is a small sample of the types of theft charges we have successfully defended for our clients (Theft Penal Code):
- Petty Theft (Penal Code Section 484) is the smallest kind of theft. This is a misdemeanor with a maximum of 6 months jail/fines/probation. Shoplifting carries similar kinds of penalties if it was done during business hours and the amount stolen was less than $950 of merchandise.
- Petty Theft with a Prior (Penal Code 666): If you’ve been convicted of a crime in the past and then are charged with petty theft, this is next charge up. It can be charged as either a Misdemeanor or Felony. A Misdemeanor Petty theft with a Prior, carries a one year maximum in county jail. A Felony carries a maximum of 3 years in prison.
- Grand Theft (Penal Code 487) is the theft of property over $950 in value and can be subdivided into several types depending on what was stolen. Grand Theft can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, carrying a 1-year or 3-year sentence respectively.
- Embezzlement (Penal Code 503) is the charge for persons that are alleged to have stolen while serving as an employee or trustee of a business. It is the classic example of “white-collar” crime. This is a wobbler that can be filed as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the amount taken. As such, the penalties can vary widely.
- Commercial Burglary (Penal Code 459) is also known as second-degree burglary and can be charged as either a Misdemeanor or a Felony with a maximum of 1 year or 3 years, respectively. It is not considered a strike if filed as a felony. If you’re accused of walking into a business and stealing something above the $950 limit, this is the charge that will be given. Note that if you’ve been charged with this crime prior to 2014, it may be possible to get your charge re-sentenced to a misdemeanor and get the felony wiped from your record. Speak with Manshoory Law for more details about this.
- Residential Burglary (Penal Code 459) is also known as first-degree burglary. It is always a felony and carries a maximum of 6 years in prison. Residential burglary is a strike offense under California’s three-strikes law. The difference between residential burglary and “breaking and entering” is that the accused entered the home without forcing their way in.
- Auto/Vehicle Burglary is the burglary of the contents of a car. This can be treated as a misdemeanor or a felony.
- Robbery (Penal Code 211) Always a felony and always a Strike. To prove a robbery, the prosecution has to show that you acquired the victim’s property by fear or force. If they allege that a weapon was used, this nearly doubles your sentence. If there is an allegation that a gun was used, that adds 10 years to a robbery sentence in California.
This isn’t a full list of theft crimes in the criminal code. Things like fraudulent checks and credit cards, appropriation of lost property, or even trade secret theft can all be classified as theft crimes. Each of the charges have their own defenses and each requires the help of a lawyer on your side to enact them.
Theft Crimes FAQ
What Are Some Possible Defenses?
The history of the different shades of theft has led to a huge number of theft crimes and penalties. In California, many theft crimes can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances. These are known as “wobbler” laws in California. Additionally, the presence or absence of certain activities during the incident can change the law (e.g. whether force was used.)
The best result a criminal defense lawyer can get is the dropping of all charges, but sometimes that isn’t possible. But that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. A lawyer can use their skill to argue for a lesser charge or to get a felony charge moved to a misdemeanor. While you’ll still be punished in these cases, it will be less severe than what you would have received if you didn’t have a defense.
What’s So Bad About Theft Crimes?
There are three types of crimes that employers are keen to avoid in their workers: violent crimes, sex crimes, and theft crimes. Surprisingly, it is theft crimes that are feared the most. A theft crime can keep you from future employment opportunities, especially if it is a felony.
Depending on the profession, there are positions where violent criminals and even sexual criminals can work. They may be low-status positions away from the public, but it’s still work. However, every business is protective of their money and if they can’t trust that you won’t steal it then they won’t hire you. Furthermore, it’s much harder to start your own business with a theft record because it can be hard to get funding if you’re a convicted thief.
It may seem unfair that a convicted murderer might have better job prospects than a simple burglar, but such is the way of the world. This is why it is vitally important to fight any theft charge placed on you, especially one that could turn into a felony. Your reputation is at extreme risk once you are charged.
Can I Expunge A Theft Crime On My Record?
It depends on the circumstances, but it is possible. Like we mentioned with burglary earlier, sentencing laws can change and you can get re-sentenced to a lesser crime. Better than that is to get the crime wiped from your record. This is called expungement. This will prevent future employers from finding out about your past and help you get a fresh start. To learn more about this process and how to start it, contact Manshoory Law.
Protect Yourself From Theft Charges in California
Our office has handled every possible type of theft charge and brings that experience to your case. Manshoory Law is ready to review the facts of your case and develop a strong defense to fight the charges against you. We will stop at nothing to put the pressure on the government to prove every element of the crimes they have alleged. When they are unable to prove it, we demand the charges be dismissed. If they can, we will do everything in our power to reduce the sentence.
What you don’t want is facing the court alone. Don’t wait. Call Manshoory Law as soon as you have been charged with a theft crime. Let us help you keep your freedom, your money, your reputation, and your future intact.