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(951) 667-5293

Orange County:

(714) 758-5293

who you hire can make all the difference

Mr. Donath has spent his entire career defending people and standing up for the rights of the accused.

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  • former deputy public defender

    As a former Deputy Public Defender in Riverside County, Mr. Donath has always been on the defense side of the law. 

  • award winning certified criminal law specialist

    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.

  • a true passion for defending the accused

    Your lawyer should have a passion for defense, not just a passion for money. Reputation, vigor, and determination go a long way in this business.

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Riverside Theft and Grand Theft Lawyer

Theft is often a crime of convenience that may be a symptom of a larger problem. Many people charged with these crimes, including grand theft, are not hardened criminals. They are normal people who do not deserve to have the full extent of the law thrown in their faces. No one understands this better than Graham Donath, an award-winning Riverside theft lawyer.

If you have made a mistake or been wrongly accused of a theft crime, you will need assistance from an experienced defense lawyer in Riverside.

Although some people may not view theft (particularly shoplifting and petty theft) as serious crimes, a conviction can have lasting effects. It may stay on your permanent record for life. It can limit employment opportunities, because there may be trust issues with a person who was convicted of theft. It may also affect the private lives of accused individuals.

At the Law Offices of Graham Donath, APC, serving Riverside County, we have seen many different theft cases come through our doors. From misleading evidence to unknowing possession of stolen goods, our Riverside theft attorneys know the defense strategies that will work best for each of our clients. Theft and grand theft accusations do not have to keep you from living your life or finding gainful employment in the future. Let us help you protect your rights against theft charges.

How a Theft Attorney Can Help your Case

Calling Graham Donath after facing an arrest for theft in Riverside can change your outlook for the future. Instead of feeling fear and confusion, your attorney can give you information and answer your questions to help give you more confidence in what comes next. Your lawyer will quell your concerns and start working on a smart defense strategy immediately. Hiring an attorney can make or break your theft case.

Choose Graham Donath Law because we have the case results to prove our skill in criminal defense law. Mr. Donath has obtained positive case outcomes for hundreds of clients over the years, including dozens of dismissed cases, not-guilty verdicts, and hung juries. He has a long history of representing clients’ rights and best interests in the face of serious allegations throughout California. Mr. Donath can give you the best possible odds of minimizing or eliminating the penalties you face for alleged theft.

Past clients that have chosen Graham Donath Law have praised the firm and its lead attorney for professionalism, thoroughness, and results. Testimonials mention the extremely high quality of representation from Mr. Donath and the firm. Mr. Donath provides personal attention for each and every client he takes on. He puts people over profits, doing his job with a passion that comes from years defending people from wrongful, exaggerated, or unjustly harsh charges. Mr. Donath can make you feel heard during this difficult time.

Types of Theft: Petty Theft to Grand Theft

Taking property that is not yours without asking and without the intent to return it is considered theft. Petty theft is the most common type of theft and includes property valued under $950.

Grand theft charges may be applied in cases where the property value is higher than $950 and in cases of firearm theft or automotive theft.

Petty theft is almost always charged as a misdemeanor. Grand theft may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. Cases that may be considered misdemeanors or felonies are called wobblers. Firearms and vehicles with values of $950 or more will be charged as felonies in California courts. Other types of theft include the known acceptance of stolen property, embezzlement, fraud, identity theft, robbery, burglary, and carjacking.

The amount, charges, and circumstances will affect the severity of sentencing. Those convicted of theft may spend time in a local jail or state prison and be required to complete community service, pay restitution, and/or pay a fine. Depending on the circumstances, such as theft of a firearm or robbery, the act may qualify as a violent crime. Violent crimes are part of California’s three strikes sentencing arrangement and may include harsher sentencing.

What is the Punishment for Theft?

California takes the crime of theft very seriously. The punishments for theft vary according to the specific type of conviction. Most penalties include some type of fine, a prison sentence, or both. For petty theft, a judge may impose a fine of up to $1,000 and/or six months in prison. Petty theft of something with a value below $50 is a lesser charge with a fine of up to $250. Grand theft can lead to imprisonment up to three years, on top of hefty fines. A prior criminal history can affect the sentence. Working with a Riverside theft lawyer can minimize your risk of facing the harshest possible punishments for theft crimes.

What is the Punishment for Petty Theft?

The punishments for petty theft are lesser than grand theft, to fit the severity of the crime. Petty theft refers to stealing items that are worth less than $400. Shoplifting is a common example of petty theft. The prosecution can recommend a misdemeanor or felony charge for petty theft depending on the circumstances. A first offense for petty theft can result in one to three years of information probation, community services hours, and a fine of up to $400. A lawyer may be able to convince the judge to reduce this crime to an infraction for lesser penalties.

The punishment for a second or subsequent petty theft offense increases to higher fines and from 12 months in jail to 16 months in state prison. Grand theft refers to stealing items worth more than $400. Grand theft may be a misdemeanor or felony charge. The penalties for grand theft are up to $10,000 in fines, mandatory counseling, restitution, probation, and up to 16 months in state prison. If grand theft involves use of a firearm, the penalties can increase.

Building a Defense

Theft cases can be complex because of state laws and the circumstances surrounding theft. Depending on the individual case, we may be able to have the charges dropped or reduced. To get the best possible outcome for your individual charges, consult with a Riverside theft attorney sooner rather than later.

Common defenses in theft cases include:

  • Proving ownership. You cannot steal something you own.
  • False accusation. You did not commit the crime.
  • Consent to use. The owner gave you the property or granted permission to use it.
  • Lack of intent. You did not mean to deprive an owner of his or her property.

Hiring an Experienced Riverside Theft Attorney

At the Law Offices of Graham Donath, APC, we have the experience and expertise needed to fight theft accusations and charges successfully. It is never too early or too late to contact a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights against theft charges in California. The right defense attorney can make a difference in whether you go back to work when your case is over or if your life will change forever. For theft and grand theft criminal defense in Riverside, contact our office for more information at any time. Trust us to get results.