Misdemeanor Theft & Felony Theft in San Diego County
Theft is a common crime and a major issue in the state of California. In 2006 alone, the California Law Enforcement Agency Uniform Crime Report concluded that there were more than 240,00 vehicle thefts, nearly 667,000 instances of larceny, over 246,000 burglaries, and almost 71,000 robbers in the state of California.
While theft may be a common crime, it is still an offense severe enough that prosecutors aggressively pursue penalties in court. If you have been charged with theft in San Diego County, the first thing you should do is secure an experienced criminal defense attorney who can protect your legal rights and advocate on your behalf.
Free Consultation (619) 233-4433
Different Types of Theft in the State of California
In California, theft crimes are defined as taking an individual’s property or money without that person’s consent. However, there are multiple types of theft under the law. Some might call for a misdemeanor charge, while others might be considered a felony.
Common Theft Charges in San Diego County:
- Credit Card Fraud
- False Pretenses
- Fraudulent conversion
- Grand theft
- Identity Theft
- Insurance Fraud
- Money Laundering
- Petty theft (also known as larceny)
- Petty theft with a prior conviction
Misdemeanor Theft Crimes in San Diego County
- Petty Theft
Petty theft involves taking property or money valued at $400 or less. Shoplifting is typically the most common form of petty theft and it usually considered a misdemeanor. The penalties for petty theft in San Diego might include:
- Community service or labor hours
- Court fines
- Restitution paid to the victim of the theft, as well as to the law enforcement entities that investigated the theft
- Up to six months in prison
While petty theft is considered a misdemeanor, it is important for those with immigration concerns to note that it is a crime of “moral turpitude,” according to the United States’ immigration law, and could result in deportation or the denial or naturalization and/or citizenship. If you’ve been charged with any form of theft, it is vital you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in San Diego immediately.
Felony Theft Crimes in San Diego County
Whether or not your theft crime is charged as a felony depends on several factors, including whether or not you have a prior conviction, as well as the nature of the alleged crime itself. The more serious the theft crime in San Diego is, the more likely it will be classified as a felony rather than as a misdemeanor.
- Grand Theft in San Diego
The taking of property or money valued at $950 or more without an individual’s consent is considered grand theft, per California Penal Code 487(a). Because of the higher value of stolen property/money involved, the penalties of felony grand theft include:
- Prison time
- Reimbursement paid for the cost of supervision (probation or parole)
- Restitution paid to both the victim of the grand theft and to the investigating law enforcement authority
- Significant court fines
- Petty Theft with a Prior Conviction in San Diego
If an individual was previously convicted of petty theft and is subsequently charged with petty theft again (for a different crime), then the charge may go from a misdemeanor to a felony theft charge in San Diego. In such a case, the accused faces up to three years in prison, as well additional penalties like those listed above.
Other Penalties for Theft in San Diego County
In other instances, the penalties for a theft conviction in San Diego vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case. The legal factors that affect the potential penalties for theft include:
- The nature of the theft (e.g., a dangerous armed robbery versus a less dangerous embezzlement scheme)
- The value of the property stolen (e.g., a pack of cigarettes versus identity theft that garners hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of goods)
- Whether it was the accused’s first conviction
- If there are any accompanying crimes to the theft (e.g., the involvement of weapons and/or violence, destruction of property, the use of children in the theft or scheme, the possibility of interstate theft)
If you have been charged with any form of theft, consult an experienced criminal defense attorney in San Diego with a successful track record defending cases of theft. As each case has its own set of unique details, you are best served by contacting a professional who is well versed in criminal defense law and who can advise you of your legal options.
Contact the Law Offices of Anna R. Yum today at (619) 233-4433 to speak directly with an award winning criminal defense attorney in San Diego who can discuss the details of your case privately and at no cost to you. Schedule a no-cost consultation today.