Petty Theft (Penal Code §§ 484 and 666) & Grand Theft (Penal Code § 487)

Theft, whether Petty Theft of Grand Theft, is the taking of another person's property without consent and with no intention to return it.  Whether the crime is charged as Petty Theft or Grand Theft depends on the value of the property taken.

Petty Theft is a misdemeanor and is charged when the property taken is worth less than $950.  If the defendant has three or more prior convictions for Petty Theft, they may be charged with Petty Theft With A Prior (Penal Code § 666).  Petty Theft With A Prior and is a "wobbler" and can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. 

Grand Theft is a "wobbler" and can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.  Grand Theft is charged when the property taken is worth $950 or more.

If you or someone you care about is facing a petty theft, petty theft with a prior or grand theft charge, the criminal defense attorneys at the Weinrieb Law Firm can help explain the charges and properly defend against them.  We can be reached twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week at (818) 933-6555.

Elements Of Petty Theft & Grand Theft

The prosecution must prove the following to convict a defendant of Petty Theft or Grand Theft:

  • Taking: Defendant took possession of property owned by another person
  • No Consent: The other person did not consent to defendant taking possession of the property
  • Intent: When Defendant took possession of the property he intended to keep it permanently or for a significant amount of time
  • Movement: Defendant moved the property and kept it ("movement" occurs even if the defendant moved the property only a small distance and kept it for only a short period of time)
  • For Grand Theft, also: The property had a value of $950 or more
  • For Petty Theft With A Prior, also: Defendant was previously convicted of petty theft, grand theft, auto theft, burglary, carjacking, robbery or felony receipt of stolen property.

Punishment For Theft

As with any crime, the potential punishment for Theft will vary based on the facts of the case, and can include:
Petty Theft:

  • Up to six months in county jail
  • Up to a $1000 fine
  • Three years informal probation

** In some instances, such as when the value of the stolen property is small and the defendant has no criminal history, punishment may be reduced to an infraction and potentially dismissed if the Defendant takes steps such as attending anti-theft classes or repaying the owner of the stolen goods.

Petty Theft With A Prior (charged as a misdemeanor):

  • Up to one year in county jail
  • Up to a $1000 fine
  • Three years probation

Petty Theft With A Prior (charged as a felony):

  • 16 months, two or three years in state prison
  • Formal Probation

Grand Theft (charged as a misdemeanor):

  • Up to six months in county jail
  • Up to a $1000 fine
  • Three years informal probation

Grand Theft (charged as a felony):

  • 16 months, two or three years in state prison
  • Formal Probation

** Punishment for Felony Grand Theft may also be increased when the value of the goods stolen is high

Defenses To Theft Charges

Depending on the particular facts of a case, defenses to a theft charge may include the following:

  • Lack of intent – Defendant did not intend to keep the property when he took it
  • Defendant's Right of Possession – Theft is not committed if the allegedly stolen goods belong to the defendant and the defendant has a right to possess them
  • Consent – Defendant had permission to take the allegedly stolen

Contact Us

If you or someone you care about is facing criminal investigation or criminal charges of any type, please contact the criminal defense attorneys at the Weinrieb Law Firm. We can be reached twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week at (818) 933-6555, or through the confidential and secure email form on the firm's website at www.VWattorneys.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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