There are a wide range of circumstances that can lead to unfounded allegations of theft, which include misidentification, an accuser with ulterior motives, misunderstandings regarding consent, and a plethora of other scenarios. Theft crimes include a broad range of offense, such as grand theft auto, shoplifting, identity theft, and embezzlement, just to name a few examples. Whether you are the target of an investigation related to a theft offense or you have been arrested and formally charged with this type of crime, you can face misdemeanor or felony charges. These charges can expose you to serious penalties that might include imprisonment, substantial fines, orders to pay restitution, probation, and a criminal record.
At the Law Office of Danny Saleh, my firm has been built on my commitment to protecting individuals from overzealous police officers and prosecutors under political pressure that results in a rush to judgment. Whether you are falsely accused or experience a regrettable lapse in judgment, our job is to tenaciously defend your rights while pursuing the best possible outcome in your case. When I represent individuals charged with Inland Empire / Los Angeles theft offenses, my goal is to ensure you are comfortable candidly discussing your situation, so together with my team of investigators and staff I can formulate the most effective defense strategy. Our clients feel comfortable asking questions and talking about their case with us because they know we understand our job is to defend rather than to judge.
Understanding Theft Offenses in California
Anyone charged with a theft crime in Southern California needs to have a basic understanding of California theft laws. Although there are many types of theft crimes, two of the most common and basic theft offenses are petty theft and grand theft.
- Petty Theft (Penal Code 484): The prosecutor must prove certain elements to obtain a conviction of theft, including the following: (1) the accused took possession of property of another; (2) the accused did not have consent; (3) intent to take the property for a significant amount of time (or permanently); and (4) the accused moved the property even a small distance and kept it for at least a short time. If you are arrested for petty theft, you will be charged with a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum of six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine, and informal probation. While our goal is to identify a basis for dismissal or acquittal, we might be able to get the offense charged as an “infraction” with the charges being dismissed after the completion of theft education classes.
- Grand Theft (Penal Code 487): The basic elements that the prosecutor must establish for petty theft and grand theft are identical, but there is one significant difference between the two crimes. The more serious offense of grand theft can be charged if the value of the stolen property is $400 or greater. Grand theft is a “wobbler,” which means the prosecutor can charge the offense as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The prosecutor will be more likely to charge a felony if the value of the property at issue is significant. A felony charge of grand theft can carry a prison term of 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in the state penitentiary.
California Defenses to Petty Theft and Grand Theft
If you have been charged with a theft offense, our law firm will carefully gather and evaluate the evidence and interview witnesses to determine the best defense strategy. Although every case is unique, a number of defense strategies we might successfully employ include:
- No intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property
- Implied or express permission to take the property
- Exclusion of confession or damaging statements because of Miranda violations or lack of voluntariness
- Legitimate right of possession of the items
- Falsified or mistaken allegations
- Suppression of stolen items or other evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable search and seizure
Our Pomona theft crimes defense law firm provides zealous defense to the full range of theft offenses including:
- Receiving stolen property
- Grand theft firearm
- Identity theft
- Auto burglary
- Grand theft auto
- Appropriation of lost property
If you are under investigation or have been charged with a theft offense in the Inland Empire / Los Angeles or surrounding areas of Southern California, Pomona theft crimes defense attorney Danny Saleh offers a free consultation, so he can evaluate your situation and discuss your options. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.