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Theft Crimes

Accomplished Criminal Defense Lawyer Representing Theft Clients in Los Angeles

Theft, also known as larceny, is the unlawful taking of another’s property. Theft can be either a misdemeanor or felony offense, running the gamut of stealing a pack of gum to robbing a bank. While some theft offenses are less serious then others, all theft convictions carry potential penalties that include harsh jail sentences, hefty fines, probation, supervised release, and/or restitution. If you have been charged with theft in California, you need the expertise and guidance of a skilled California criminal defense attorney to help you fight your charges.

The Law Offices of Kourosh Pourmorady understands how stressful and traumatic a theft arrest can be. Our attorneys have over 47 combined years of experience with representing clients in Los Angeles courts. Our job is to aggressively defend your charges by helping you understand and explore your legal options, investigate your case, and present a defense theory. We are passionate about serving lower income and minority communities, and we do not discriminate based on case size or income level. For a free case evaluation, call The Law Offices of Kourosh Pourmorady now at (866) 666-6529.

Theft Definition

Theft is a property crime in California that involves the unlawful taking of one’s property without permission. To prevail, the prosecutor must prove:

  1. You took someone else’s property without permission, and
  2. You did so with the intent to deprive that person of their property.

The property must be something of value. However, the prosecutor does not have to prove exact monetary value. Only the approximate value is important for determining whether to charge the theft as petty theft or grand theft.

Petty theft is reserved for thefts of items valued at less than $950. Petty theft is usually a misdemeanor. However, if the value of the item is less than $50, the prosecutor has the discretion to charge the theft as an infraction that incurs a $250 fine. If you are convicted of misdemeanor petty theft, you face a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

Grand theft can be either a misdemeanor or felony. This is known as a wobbler. The prosecutor decides whether to charge the theft as a misdemeanor or felony, and this decision is usually based on the value of the item stolen and your criminal record. Felony grand theft carries a maximum sentence of 3 years in jail and/or a $10,000 fine. Misdemeanor grand theft carries a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

Theft, larceny, embezzlement, and stealing are all prosecuted under grand theft and petty theft.

Defenses to Theft

The proper defense theory for your case depends on the individual circumstances surrounding your arrest. However, common defenses include:

  • Abandonment
  • The owner gifted or sold the property to you
  • The owner consented to you possessing the property
  • You were given the property by someone other than the owner and were not told it was stolen
  • You are the rightful owner
  • The owner is not the true owner
  • The property has no value

Legal Options in Theft Cases

While you of course have a Sixth Amendment right to proceed to trial to defend yourself, you might also be presented with other legal options that may be more attractive to you.

Diversion is a special program offered by the prosecutor in many theft cases in which the prosecutor agrees to dismiss your case in exchange for you completing certain tasks. Community service is most often required, as well as staying away from the person or location you stole from. If you complete all terms, the government will issue a nolle prosequi (meaning, “will no longer prosecute”), dismissing the charges. If you fail to complete all terms, you will proceed to trial.

The prosecutor may also offer a plea deal. The prosecutor has discretion in what to include in the plea offer, and the judge will have ultimate discretion in how to sentence you. However, your lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor in order to obtain a more favorable plea offer.

Aggressive Theft Defense Attorney Ready to Defend Your Charges

If you have been charged with grand theft or petty theft, you face considerable jail time. You need the guidance and expertise of a skilled criminal defense attorney to review your case, counsel you on your options, explain your charges, and craft a successful defense strategy. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Kourosh Pourmorady will represent you with the dedication, aggressiveness, and thoroughness that you deserve. No case is too small, and no income is too low. Call The Law Offices of Kourosh Pourmorady today at (866) 666-6529 for a free initial review of your theft case.