Encinitas Theft Crime Defense Attorneys
The name “Encinitas” means small oaks in Spanish. Encinitas is a beach city located approximately 25 miles north of San Diego and 95 miles south of Los Angeles. It is home to nearly 60,000 people.
Downtown Encinitas is rich in character and history. It has a traditional “Main Street,” old Highway 101, a historic old theater, a classic record store, taco shops, beach hotels, and shops along the coast highway. This coastal city environment encourages a healthy lifestyle. With nearly perfect weather, residents enjoy life and spend much of their time outdoors. The overall crime rate in Encinitas is 13 per 1,000 residents, near the average for cities and towns in the U.S.
Theft crimes are a broad category of criminal offenses that involve unauthorized taking of the property of another with intent to deprive the owner of that property permanently. Our Encinitas criminal lawyer defends clients against a wide range of theft charges. Some of the most common offenses are:
- Shoplifting: Often charged as petty theft, shoplifting occurs when someone enters an open business with the intent of stealing items valued at $950 or less. It is typically a misdemeanor unless the accused has prior serious felony convictions or is a registered sex offender.
- Fraud: Applied to many other charges, fraud is not a specifically defined crime. It occurs when a person uses deception to commit an act that benefits himself or causes harm to others. Many fraud crimes are wobblers – offenses that can be charged either as misdemeanors or felonies, at the discretion of the prosecution.
- Robbery: This crime involves taking personal property from another against that person’s will, using force or fear. The number of counts of robbery the accused will face depends on the number of victims involved – not the number of items taken.
- Burglary: Entering or breaking into someone else’s property with the intent to commit theft or a felony is burglary. The crime is charged as burglary in the first degree, a felony, if the break-in occurred at a residence. It is second-degree burglary, a wobbler, if it occurred at a store or business.
- Identity theft: Stealing someone else’s personal information to use in an unlawful or fraudulent manner is identity theft. It is a wobbler offense.
- Grand theft auto: Stealing a car is a felony offense. Grand theft auto is defined as the unlawful taking of a vehicle with the intention to keep it permanently or for a substantial time period. Intent is a key element of this crime.
- Auto burglary: It is a criminal act when a person breaks into a vehicle belonging to another to steal items inside the vehicle. Auto burglary is defined as entering or breaking into another person’s vehicle with the intent to commit a felony or theft inside the vehicle. It is a wobbler.
With Proposition 47, many felonies became misdemeanors. Penalties for theft crimes can depend on various factors, including the type of crime, the value of the items taken, and prior convictions. Petty theft carries up to six months in county jail, a fine of not more than $1,000, or both. If the value of the items taken was less than $50, a first offender may only be penalized with a fine. If convicted of first-degree robbery, a person could serve up to nine years in state prison and be fined up to $10,000.
If you are facing theft crime charges in Encinitas, contact jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys at (760) 630-2000 right away. Our founding attorney is a board-certified criminal defense specialist.
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