Being convicted of a theft crime can have lifelong repercussions on the defendant in a criminal case. Jail time, fines, community service, and the like are bad enough, but even after the defendant has paid his or her debt to society, he or she will still have a criminal record labeling him or her as a thief. This can be devastating to the defendant’s reputation, not to mention make finding suitable employment in the future very difficult or even impossible. Knowledgeable Riverside and San Bernardino theft crimes lawyer Gregory H. Comings helps those who have been accused of property crimes and related offenses put forth a strong defense under the circumstances of their particular case.
There are many different theft crimes under the California Penal Code. This includes not only general offenses like petit larceny (“petty theft”) and grand larceny, but also more specific crimes like burglary, robbery, and mail theft. Regardless of the particular charge lodged against the defendant, the State of California has the burden of proving the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The punishment for the various theft crimes chargeable under California law ranges from just a few months in county jail to several years in state prison.Misdemeanor and Felony Theft Offenses in California
While every theft crime involves one person taking, or having the intent to take, something that belongs to someone else, the exact crime with which a defendant will be charged in a particular case depends on several factors. A skilled theft crimes attorney in Riverside or San Bernardino may be able to challenge the type of offense you have been charged with. One of the most important considerations is the fair market value of the property that was stolen or intended to be stolen. Generally speaking, if a defendant allegedly took or intended to take property with a fair market value of $950 or less, he or she will probably be charged with theft by larceny, also known as petty theft. This crime is a misdemeanor, but it can still result in jail time, a criminal record, and a lingering question in the minds of others as to the defendant’s trustworthiness. It should be noted that, if the defendant entered a commercial establishment such as a store during business hours with the intent to take something worth $950 or less, he or she may be charged with the more distinct crime of shoplifting rather than the more general offense of petty theft.
Felony theft offenses include grand larceny (grand theft), which includes the taking of property with a fair market value over $950, and it is wise to enlist a skilled Riverside or San Bernardino theft crimes attorney to defend charges of this nature. Grand theft can also include theft of certain types of property, such as a firearm, if the defendant has previously been convicted of certain criminal offenses. Other felony theft offenses include theft committed under particular circumstances, such as robbery, which is taking property by force or fear, or burglary, which is entering a building with the intent to commit grand theft. Other theft crimes include theft by trick, theft by embezzlement, theft by fraud or false pretenses, burglary, and mail theft, which can be potentially be a federal crime. A felony theft conviction can result in several years of incarceration in the state penitentiary, along with other consequences, so it is important to consult an attorney if you are facing an accusation such as grand larceny, robbery, or burglary.Seasoned Theft Crimes Lawyer Defending Riverside and San Bernardino Residents
Not every arrest leads to a conviction, nor should it. Police make mistakes. Innocent people get wrongly accused. At the Law Offices of Gregory H. Comings, we work hard to make sure that each client’s case is fully investigated and aggressively defended. If we believe that a conviction is likely under the circumstances, we will be straightforward with our client about their options, but if we believe that an acquittal, a reduction in charges, or a diversion might be possible, we will explain the necessary steps so that the client understands both the process and the odds of a more favorable outcome. If you have been charged with a theft crime in Riverside or San Bernardino and need legal advice, call us at (951) 686-3457 or contact us online.