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North County Theft Crime Defense Attorney


Defense Against Theft Charges in North County

Theft is the crime of knowingly taking money or property of another without that person’s permission. Theft crimes cover a wide range of offenses and may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. Proposition 47 has had a significant effect on theft crimes in California. Since its passage in 2014, theft crimes are usually changed as misdemeanors if the value of the property stolen does not exceed $950.

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What Crimes Fall Under the Category of Theft?

Common theft crimes in North County include:

  • Shoplifting – theft of goods from a retail store
  • Petty theft – taking money or property valued under $950
  • Robbery – taking or attempting to take something of value through force or threat of force
  • Grand theft – stealing something of a value over $950
  • Burglary – entering a building with the intent to commit theft or a felony
  • Receiving stolen property – buying, selling, concealing, or withholding property that is known to be stolen
  • Grand theft auto – taking a vehicle valued at more than $950

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What Kind of Theft Charges and Penalties Can a Person Face in California?

Theft crimes can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the value of the property stolen and the criminal record of the accused. For example:

  • Both first offense shoplifting and petty theft are charged as misdemeanors and punishable by up to six months in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, and up to three years of probation.
  • Grand theft is a “wobbler” offense that can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. When charged as a misdemeanor, conviction could mean up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Felony grand theft may carry penalties that include 16 months to three years in county jail and a fine of up to $10,000. In some cases, it carries a prison sentence.
  • The crime of burglary can be in the first or the second degree. First-degree burglary is burglary of a residence. It is a felony offense with penalties that may include a prison sentence of two, four, or six years. Second- degree burglary is burglary of a store or a business. This is a wobbler offense that may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. When charged as a misdemeanor, it carries potential incarceration in county jail for up to one year. When charged as a felony, it may be punishable by a county jail sentence of 16 months, two years, or three years.
  • Receiving stolen property can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony under California law. If the value of the property stolen is less than $950, it will likely be charged as a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in county jail.

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How Can a Theft Conviction Impact a Person’s Future Prospects?

A criminal record with a theft conviction can significantly impact future opportunities. Shoplifting, petty theft, and other “crimes of moral turpitude” (crimes involving dishonesty) are red flags for prospective employers. A theft crime on your record could prevent you from securing employment, obtaining a professional license, or getting a security clearance. In immigration matters, it could also lead to denial of permanent residency, denial of entry into the U.S., or deportation.

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Why You Need a Lawyer

If you are facing theft charges, it is crucial to contact an experienced North County criminal defense attorney who can work to have your charges reduced or dismissed as soon as possible. Call jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys at (760) 630-2000 to schedule a free initial consultation. Our founding attorney is a certified criminal law specialist with decades of experience and a successful track record for our clients.

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James N. Dicks

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