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Is all Theft in Riverside, California Now A Misdemeanor?

Posted in Proposition 47 FAQ'S on November 6, 2014

Certain theft offenses in California have been modified to make such offenses misdemeanors for most people.

Commercial Burglary, Forgery, Grand Theft, Possession of Stolen Property, and Theft with a Prior (PC 666), have all been modified substantially.

For instance, any Felony Burglary of the second degree under Penal Code 459 that occurs with the intent to commit theft for items of value less than $950 (as opposed to another felony) during the hours the business is open is now reclassified as Penal Code Section 459.5, Shoplifting.

All crimes currently charged as Burglary under these facts must be handled as a misdemeanor for most people.

Forgery pursuant to Penal Code Section 473 has also been modified, so that, for most people, it may only be a misdemeanor as long as the value of the forged instrument(s) does not exceed $950.

However, if the person IS convicted of Penal Code Section 530.5, commonly known as Identity Theft, then that person is not entitled to a misdemeanor, and may be convicted of either a misdemeanor OR a Felony version of Forgery.

Any Grand Theft under Penal Code 487 has also been modified.

In the event that the property stolen is under $950 in value, pursuant to the newly added Penal Code Section 490.2, that Grant Theft charge must be a misdemeanor for most people.

This includes Grand Theft of a Firearm, which would as a Felony, result in a “Strike” under the three strikes law.

Possession of Stolen Property (Penal Code Section 496) also has been altered.

In the event the value of the stolen property in question is less than $950, the charges for most people will now be mandated a misdemeanor.

Theft with a Prior (Penal Code Section 666) has been altered significantly.

The new version of Theft with a Prior now only applies to those individuals previously suffering the convictions listed directly below OR has a prior conviction for Theft from an Elder or Dependent Adult under Penal Code 368(d) or Penal Code 368(e).

The new version of Theft with a Prior may still be a misdemeanor or felony, but now only applies to a very limited group of individuals.

As I mentioned above, the changes to California’s theft laws discussed apply to MOST people.

However, if a person has previously been convicted of several particular child molestation charges, Murder, Attempted Murder, Gross Vehicular Manslaughter while Intoxicated, Solicitation of Murder, Assault with a Machine Gun on a Peace Officer, or any serious or violent offence punishable in California by life imprisonment or death, or is required to register as a sex offender pursuant to Penal Code Section 290(c), then the theft offenses modified by Prop 47 such as Burglary of the Second Degree, may still be treated as a Felony in California.

If you are facing any of these theft charges, whether as a felony or misdemeanor, you will need a good criminal defense lawyer to defend you.

Call me at (951) 667-5293 to discuss your situation – the call is FREE.