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    Top 100 Trial Attorneys in California 2012-2014, 2008 Trial Attorney of the Year by the Riverside County Public Defender's Office, and dozens of other awards and accolades.

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The Difference Between Criminal and Civil Theft

Posted in Burglary,Robbery on January 12, 2022

Throughout the years, certain aspects of criminal theft charges have raised concerns in both the victims and the accused – specifically concerning the details of a trial. One of the main worries involves the type of case that is being put forth, ultimately resulting in different outcomes for both parties.

Graham Donath Law Offices, APC is a California-based law firm experienced in criminal law. Our firm has successfully handled many cases and educated our clients on the different aspects of their trials: what expectations to have, the amount of compensation that can be plausibly recovered, and other information regarding what exactly to expect after a crime has been committed. Our attorneys are ready to help you through your legal case as soon as possible.

Breaking Down the Principal Categories of Crime in California

There are two main types of theft cases: criminal and civil. The difference between these two types of cases boils down to how they are prosecuted. This is a concern for both the person accused of the crime and the victim of the crime as it can decide the amount of compensation that is acquired for the crime, how much time could be spent in jail by the defendant, and the victim’s ability to prevent future crime from occurring. 

Before learning about the difference between criminal and civil theft cases, it is important to define theft. Theft is described as removing or taking control of someone else’s property, usually without consideration or consent from the owner of the property. It is important to note that this seizing of property does not necessarily have to be “moveable” – meaning that theft can include miscellaneous entities such as land, information, or services from establishments.

Criminal Theft

Criminal theft cases are quite common. These types of crime are defined in the same way that the traditional definition of theft is – the seizing of personal property without the owner’s consent. Usually, criminal theft cases are prosecuted by the state. The punishment for this type of case usually includes community service, prison time, and/or fines. 

There are numerous different categories that criminal theft cases may fall under. Just like other types of crimes, the severity of the punishment may vary with each categorization or amount of damage inflicted on the victim.

  • Petty Theft
  • Theft by Conversion
  • Larceny 
  • Theft of Lost or Mislaid Property

Civil Theft

Civil theft differs from criminal theft as it is a different type of lawsuit. The victim of the crime, often referred to as the “injured” party, files a lawsuit in a civil court in the case of a civil theft suit. In the case that this plan of action is taken by the prosecuting party, the injured party is usually looking for monetary reimbursement for their damages. The prosecution may even be eligible to recover additional compensation to cover the cost of future security measures that will prevent theft from occurring in the future.

The One-Stop Firm for Cases of Theft in Southern California

Sometimes, victims have a difficult time choosing which type of lawsuit to pursue. Contacting a Riverside theft attorney will afford you the mentorship and guidance you need after finding yourself the victim of criminal activity. Reach out to Graham Donath Law Offices, a PC at 951-677-5293 for a free confidential consultation today.