There are several laws in California that relate to theft, the intentional and unlawful taking of another person’s property. In order for a theft to occur, there must have been the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property of the items taken.
It is a crime for a person to unlawfully take another person’s property and then possess it as their own. This is called petty theft and is defined under Penal Code 484 in California.
Penal codes 484 and 488 describe a crime as petty theft if:
Petty theft is one of the most common theft charges applied in the state. There are several examples of what this crime may look like, including the following:
Notice, that none of these examples involves values more than $950. For any theft over the $950 threshold, petty theft charges will not be applicable.
In California, petty theft is a misdemeanor offense (as opposed to a lesser infraction or a more serious felony). Petty theft is punishable by:
There are other potential consequences to a petty theft charge. A conviction could have negative immigration consequences for non-citizens. A petty theft misdemeanor could also show up on a person’s criminal background check and affect employment prospects.
If a person is charged with petty theft, it is important to secure an attorney who can work to challenge the accusation and create legal defenses. There are various ways in which an attorney may be able to defend you against petty theft charges. This can include asserting that you:
If you or somebody you love has been charged with petty theft, seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of Graham Donath, APC, our Riverside theft defense attorneys are going to thoroughly investigate your case and work to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed altogether. You deserve to be treated fairly throughout this process, so contact us for a consultation on your case by clicking here or by calling as soon as possible.