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Are you facing theft charges?

There is an array of theft charges that one can face ranging on the severity of the crime. In the state of California, theft crimes can be categorized in two different ways, like petty theft or grand theft. Petty theft is constituted as being $950 or less in stolen property and anything above that is considered to be grand theft. Either way, if you are indeed convicted of the crime, the charges you face may come with serious penalties and lasting consequences.

Theft in California

California Penal Code 484 and 488, talks about theft and unlawfully taking the property of another. Petty theft is considered a misdemeanor and is a less serious crime, punishable by law for up to six months in a county jail or paying a fine of up to $1,000. Grand theft on the other hand is referred to as a “wobbler,” meaning that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Grand theft as a misdemeanor charge may lead to one year in a county jail and as a felony charge, you could be looking at 16 months to 2 or 3 years of incarceration in state prison.

There are additional penalties based upon large amounts of stolen property:

  • If it exceeds $65,000, they will add 1 year onto your sentence
  • If it exceed $200,000, they will add 2 years onto your sentence
  • If it exceeds $1,300,000, they will add 3 years onto your sentence
  • If it exceeds $3,200,000, they will add 4 years onto your sentence

Burglary vs. Robbery

  • Burglary: Under California law § 459, burglary is defined as entering a building or structure with the intent of committing a crime. You must intend to steal the property before you entered in for it to be considered burglary. For example, let’s say that you enter in the Macy’s department store, if you decide to take a piece of clothing or jewelry after looking around that may be considered petty theft because you did not originally enter with the intent to steal. The prosecution must prove without a reasonable doubt that your intent was clear, which makes this particular charge harder for them to prove guilt.
  • Robbery: Robbery is different in that you are using threats or physical violence in an attempt to take or steal something from another person. Burglary, on the other hand, does not require any proof of violence or harm. There are also armed robbery charges that pertain when the defendant was carrying a firearm while commissioning the crime. If the firearm also discharges and goes off during the time of the crime then they could have 20 years added on to their sentence.

Enlist Hard-Hitting Defense

If you are found to be guilty of a theft crime you may face lengthy jail or prison time, pricey fines, mandated community service, probation, house arrest and you will be responsible for paying recompense to the person you stole from. You may be able to evade these penalties altogether by enlisting the help of attorneys Ryan Okabe and Mark Haushalter at the firm. They provide unmatched legal defense for even the toughest criminal charges and they will fight vigorously to have your penalties reduced or your charged dismissed completely! Both lead attorneys have been nominated and selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers® magazine as a Rising Stars in the state of California for several consecutive years now. Only 2.5% of all the attorneys in the state get this honor and privilege. With Okabe & Haushalter handling your case, you will be able to rest assured that your future lies in safe and capable hands.

Contact our San Francisco firm to schedule a free consultation to discuss your charges.