If you have been charged with theft in California, your case will likely get classified into one of many categories. While you and your theft lawyer will go over the specifics, it is important to have a general idea of how your case will be seen in court. Then, with this highest level of legal representation, you may be able to reduce your charge as much as possible. Start with this guide to understanding the basics of California’s theft classifications.
- Petty Theft: If you have stolen any objects, property, or money valued up to $950, you will likely be charged with petty theft. This crime is classified as a misdemeanor. In California, you can face up to a $1,000 fine, up to six months in jail, or both.
- Grand Theft: As it’s name indicates, grand theft is more serious that petty theft.If you have stolen more than $950 worth of property, then you may be subject to this charge. This crime can be considered either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the nature of the case. You may face jail time for one to three years for this crime.
- Robbery: A criminal is convicted of robbery when they use violence, force, or threats to steal something from a person. According to California law, those convicted of robbery can face up to nine years in jail.
- Burglary: Often mixed up with robbery, burglary is when a person enters or breaks into a building to steal something. Someone can be charged with this crime for entering a home,
commercial space, car, shipping container, general building, and room. Depending on the degree of the crime, the specific consequence will vary. Your lawyer for theft defense can go over the specific severity of your case with you.
When you are convicted of one of these crimes, your theft lawyer will go through your case step by step and do what they can to achieve the best possible outcome. If you believe that you have been wrongfully convicted, it is especially important to work closely and be honest with a criminal defense lawyer. About 10,000 people in the United States may be wrongfully convicted of a crime annually, so you will need a lawyer that will work hard for you.