FRAUD, PETTY THEFT, GRAND THEFT, GRAND THEFT AUTO, ROBBERY, BURGLARY AND RECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY
Theft-related offenses are considered crimes of moral turpitude, which are crimes that involve conduct that is generally considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty or good moral values. A conviction for a crime of moral turpitude can have adverse affects on one’s ability to secure future employment and/or promotions, professional licensing, or entry into institutions of higher education.
Generally, under the laws of the State of California, and as applied in Orange County, there are two types of theft: grand theft and petty theft. Grand theft generally consists of the theft of something of value over $950.00, which can generally be anything of value: money, labor or property. Petty theft is the default category for all other kinds of general thefts, typically shoplifting or some other similar crime. See: California Penal Code Sections 486, 487, 488, 489, 490.
Generally, “theft” is defined as a criminal act in which property belonging to another is taken without that person’s consent. Examples of theft-related offenses include:
- Petty Theft (Shoplifting)
- Grand Theft
- Grand Theft Auto
- Identity Fraud
- Internet Fraud
- Bank Fraud
- Check Fraud
- Credit Card Fraud
- Mail or Wire Fraud
- Securities Fraud
- Receiving Stolen Property
Petty theft or shoplifting is a violation of Penal Code Section 484 or 488. Typically, petty theft cases are shoplifting cases involving the taking of inventory from department stores, grocery stores, convenience stores or drug stores. Petty theft is the taking of any personal property from any person or company which is valued at less than $950.00. If this is a first offense and involves property that has a value of $50 or less the case may be reduced to an infraction. There are also special programs available that can lead to a dismissal of petty theft charges and an expungement of of your arrest record even if you have no defenses to the charges.
Grand theft is a violation of Penal Code Section 487. Penal Code Section 487 can be filed as both a felony and a misdemeanor. Grand Theft is the taking of any personal property from any person or company which is valued at more than $950.00.
Grand Theft Auto
Grand Theft Auto is a violation of Penal Code Section 487(d) or Vehicle Code Section 10851. Grand Theft Auto can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor. It occurs when a person intends to permanently deprive the owner of a vehicle from possession of their vehicle.
- If Grand Theft Auto is charged under Penal Code Section 487(d), it will be charged as a felony;
- If the Grand Theft Auto is charged under Vehicle Code Section 10851, it can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony.
Robbery is a violation of Penal Code Section 211. Robbery is a felony and is generally defined as the felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another against his or her will. Robbery is thus accomplished by means of force or fear. The fear may be either: (1) the fear of an unlawful injury to the person or property of the person robbed, or of any relative of his or member of his family; or (2) the fear of an immediate and unlawful injury to the person or property of anyone in the company of the person robbed at the time of the robbery.
The punishment for robbery depends on whether it is first or second-degree robbery, but both carry substantial penalties. First-degree robbery is punishable by imprisonment for three, six, or nine years while second-degree robbery is punishable by imprisonment for two, three, or five years.
Robbery can also be charged in cases where a theft has occurred and the accused commits an assault in the act of trying to avoid apprehension.
Burglary is a violation of Penal Code Section 459. It can be a misdemeanor or a felony. Burglary is different from robbery because burglary is the unlawful entry into a building or structure with the intent to commit a theft or other felony offense therein. The punishment for burglary depends on whether it is first or second-degree burglary.
First-degree burglary involves an unlawful entry into an inhabited dwelling, such as a home. The law provides for very severe penalties for first-degree burglary. First-degree burglary is punishable by imprisonment for two, four or six years.
Second-degree burglary is oftentimes referred to as commercial burglary. It is generally charged when a person enters a business establishment with the intent to commit a crime therein. While the penalties for second-degree burglary as not as severe as those for first-degree burglary, the penalties are still substantial and oftentimes imprisonment for either sixteen months or up to two-to-three years.
Receiving Stolen Property
Receiving Stolen Property is a violation of Penal Code Section 496. It can apply to “Every person who buys or receives any property that has been stolen, knowing the property to be so stolen or obtained…” or if a person “conceals, sells, withholds, or helps to conceal, sell, or withhold any property from the owner.” Depending on the value of the property in question, the crime of receiving stolen property can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.
The Law Office of Barry T. Simons has successfully defended individuals charged with virtually every variation of theft-related or fraud crimes. Theft-related or fraud crimes are complex and require a great deal of research and hard work to effectively defend. It is therefore important to hire an attorney who not only has considerable experience in dealing with these types of cases, but one who also has the resources to devote to defending these types of cases. This includes the retention of experienced experts and investigators to carefully examine all of the evidence prior to entering into a disposition.
For more information about theft-related or fraud crimes, as applied under the laws of the State of California, or to discuss your criminal charges with an experienced criminal defense attorney, please contact us immediately at: 949-497-1729 or complete our Confidential Client Contact Form.
By Barry T. Simons: “It is my honor and privilege to fight for my clients; challenge unjust laws; protect our Constitution and to be a thorn on the side of injustice”.