Petite Larceny / Petty Theft
Theft is a serious crime that is growing rapidly across the United States, including in California. Petite larceny, also known as petty theft, is defined under Penal Codes 484 and 488 as the unlawful taking of someone else's property when that property is not stolen directly from the body of the person it belongs to (such as in the commission of a mugging), the property is not of a certain type such as a firearm or vehicle, and is valued at $950 or less. While petty theft is not as serious a crime as grand larceny, those convicted still face consequences which can negatively impact their lives. At The Justice Firm, our Los Angeles petty theft defense attorneys are dedicated to providing the exceptional legal guidance and support necessary to secure positive results in your case.
Shoplifting is by far the most common type of petite larceny, and given the economic conditions over the past few years, a crime that has grown substantially. However, there are other circumstances which qualify as petty theft, for example "theft by trick." This occurs when you go into a merchant's place of business, switch out a price tag on an item so that the price is lower, and you avoid paying the actual value of the item. You may also be arrested for petty theft if you take property from an employer, such as an item from a bulk shipment being delivered to your supervisor. When you allegedly "borrow" an item from someone else with no intention of giving it back to them, say for example a neighbor's lawn mower, you may be charged.Criminal Penalties for Petty Theft in California
In California, petty theft is considered a misdemeanor offense; it may be charged as a felony if an individual has been convicted of petty theft in the past. If convicted as a first-time offender in Orange County, the penalties you may face include:
- A maximum of six (6) months in jail
- Fines or up to $1,000
- or both
In order to avoid potentially damaging consequences and a criminal record which could affect many aspects of your life such as your career or future employment opportunities, it is vital you consult with a highly skilled Los Angeles petty theft attorney right away. If charged with felony petite larceny, criminal penalties increase and include up to 12 months in jail/prison.Contact The Justice Firm now
There are a variety of legal defenses which may be effective in preventing a conviction for petty theft. For instance, the property you are accused of stealing may actually belong to you, or you were wrongly/falsely accused of the crime. Perhaps you did not intentionally shoplift or steal property, or the individual you are accused of taking property from gave his or her consent. Prosecutors must prove every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. As trusted Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers, we know the tactics prosecutors use to secure a conviction, and how to fight them. Call The Justice Firm today at 310-914-2444.