Los Angeles Petty Theft Attorney
Petty theft or shoplifting is a theft crime in Los Angeles. Even if petty theft is considered the lowest level of theft, a person convicted of this can still be imprisoned. A petty theft conviction can negatively affect a person’s reputation.
Taking a small store item might not harm anyone, but a crime is still a crime. In everyone’s eyes, a thief is still a criminal.
Hiring an experienced Los Angeles petty theft attorney is your next best move if you are incriminated for this crime. An effective criminal defense lawyer can help you wipe your record clean.
If you or someone you know is falsely accused of petty theft, contact our experienced criminal defense attorney.
California penal code 484 governs the ruling for petty theft. In addition, the penal code 488 provides an additional definition for petty theft. The law defines petty theft as intentionally taking another person’s property without permission. The law also states that there should be an intent to carry the item permanently.
Stealing a property valued at $950 or less is considered petty theft. On the other hand, if the thief stole an item with a value of more than $950, it is deemed to be grand theft. Other crimes considered as petty theft are tampering with an item’s price tag before buying or eating a consumable item without paying.
Even if petty theft is considered low-class theft, there are still legal consequences against this crime. Petty theft is still a criminal conviction, and the accused individual can still have a criminal record. Because of the nature of this crime, petty theft is only considered a misdemeanor.
Depending on the nature of the charges, petty theft crime charges can be reduced to an infraction or progressed to a felony conviction. This will all depend on the value of the property stolen or if the thief injured the victim. The defendant will face heavier criminal charges if he has a prior criminal record.
The punishment for a petty theft-related crime in Los Angeles is jail time in Los Angeles county jail of up to six months and $1,000 penalty fees. However, if a person committed theft before, they may face heavier penalties. This includes up to three years of prison time and higher court fines.
Petty theft can have different forms depending on the nature of the crime. Listed in this section are the various categories of petty theft.
Petty theft by larceny is defined as the unlawful taking of another person’s property. The terms theft and larceny are commonly interchanged. But, keep in mind that theft is a broad term about all types of stealing. Larceny, on the other hand, is the unlawful taking of a physical item.
The victim must show that the thief took possession of the item without his knowledge to prove theft. The item in question should also have moved places with the thief and kept it for some time.
Unlike larceny, where the thief unlawfully took a property, embezzlement is a bit different. Embezzlement is defined as improperly using an entrusted property. An example of this is forging documents or an employee misusing monetary funds entrusted to him by his employer.
The victim must show that he entrusted the property to the embezzler to prove this crime. He should prove that he did this because he is confident and trusts the other person. The victim should provide proof of property misuse.
Petty theft by trick is defined by California law as stealing an item using fraudulent means. This happened when a person tricked another person into giving up possession. In most cases, the victim believes that the thief will only take the item for a brief period.
The victim must prove that he gave up the possession of a property because the criminal tricked him. He should also confirm that he did not intend to give up ownership of the property permanently.
Theft by fraud is also called theft by false pretenses. Fraud occurs when a person knowingly deceives a victim in order to permanently deprive the owner of his property. In most petty theft cases, the thief deceives the victim by making false promises and persuasive offers.
Petty theft by fraud is proven by proving that the victim let the criminal take possession of the property by making fraudulent offers. A good piece of solid evidence would be providing the fake memorandum or agreement.
If you are falsely accused of petty theft charges, here are some of the potential defenses you and your lawyer can use.
You can argue that you lack the intent to deprive the owner of his property permanently. By legal definition, a criminal must possess the plan to steal to be considered as theft.
If you can prove that the property in question is yours, the court may have the charges dropped. After all, you cannot steal what is inherently yours. However, proving this claim requires legal evidence that the item is under your property.
If you mistakenly took the item thinking that it was yours, then you cannot be accused of stealing. Mistakenly taking an item that was not yours lacks the motive to steal, which is why it cannot be legally considered as theft.
An experienced petty theft defense attorney knows the best legal defenses to use in your case.
Even if petty theft is not considered a major stealing crime, it can still harm the falsely accused individual. You must seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
At Hurwitz Law, our Los Angeles petty theft attorney has years of proven experience regarding petty theft charges. Our expert lawyer provides competent legal advice that can help you establish your innocence in a crime.
Our legal team at Hurwitz Law is a group of expert individuals who have years of successful client representation experience. Our law firm upholds our attorney-client relationship. We always assure our clients that they will receive the best possible outcome for their case.
Atty. Brian Hurwitz, Esq, is our criminal defense lawyer. His proven track record of successful representation is the reason why our service remains top-notch.
Being accused of petty theft is a challenging experience for everyone. At Hurwitz Law Firm, we know the difficult situation you are facing. Our petty theft lawyer will fight in your stead. We will stop to nothing until you receive the justice you rightfully deserve. Contact us at (323) 244-4147 for a free consultation. You may also fill out this form. Remember, if you face criminal charges for petty theft, it is imperative to act fast and smart.