San Diego Theft Crime Attorney
Theft crime charges are some of the most common charges filed by the San Diego District Attorney’s Office. Often times, those charged with theft crimes are law abiding individuals with limited or no criminal records.
It is also common for those in the possession of stolen property to be charged with the theft of that property. If you or a family member is facing theft crime charges, contact a San Diego criminal defense lawyer at the Law Office of Gregory Garrison.
Do not speak to law enforcement regarding a theft crime investigation before consulting with an attorney. It is common for law enforcement to request to speak to a target of an investigation under the ruse of simply gathering information when, in fact, they have already made the decision to arrest the individual. This is done in an effort to get the target of the investigation to make incriminating statements regarding the theft crimes.
You should also never consent to a search of your person or your property. Doing so only forfeits your Constitutional rights to be free of unreasonable search and seizure. Be polite to law enforcement and inform them they will need to obtain a lawful warrant to perform the search.
You need an experienced and skilled San Diego theft crime attorney to protect your rights and defend you in court. The team of legal professionals at the Law Office of Gregory Garrison is well versed in California theft crime laws.
We have successfully defended many clients facing theft crime charges and obtained dismissals and reduction in charges. Call us today at 619-615-4216 for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.
Effect of Proposition 47 on Certain Theft Crimes
In 2014, the voters of California passed Proposition 47 which reduced some crimes that were previously felonies to misdemeanors. Second degree burglary (burglary of a commercial business) concerning property valued at less than $950 is now misdemeanor shoplifting.
Theft of property valued at less than $950 is now misdemeanor petty theft. Receiving stolen property valued at less than $950 is now a misdemeanor. Proposition 47 has had the effect of making many theft related non violent crimes misdemeanors thereby relieving the offenders of suffering a felony conviction and the associated consequences to obtaining employment and housing.
Types of Theft Crimes
The following are examples of theft crimes. Feel free to click on any specific offense, and you will be directed to a page dedicated exclusively to that subject.
Grand theft involves the unlawful taking of another’s property where the value of the property exceeds $950. Grand theft carries a maximum possible punishment of three years in state prison. Grand theft can also be charged as a misdemeanor and carries a maximum punishment of one year in county jail.
Grand Theft Auto
Grand theft auto involves the unlawful taking of another’s vehicle without the consent of the owner and with the intent to deprive the owner either permanently or temporarily of possession. Grand theft auto can be filed as either a felony or a misdemeanor.
Felony grand theft auto carries a maximum punishment of three years in state prison. Misdemeanor grand theft auto carries a maximum punishment of one year in the county jail.
Petty theft is the unlawful taking of the property of another valued at less than $950. Petty theft is charged as a misdemeanor, however, it can be charged as felony if the offender has prior theft related convictions. A misdemeanor petty theft charge carries a maximum punishment of 180 days in jail.
Auto burglary involves breaking into the vehicle of another person with the intent to commit a theft or some other felony offense. While not treated the same as residential burglary, auto burglary is vigorously investigated and prosecuted aggressively in San Diego County. Auto burglary can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. The offender’s criminal record is often what determines whether the charge is filed as a felony or a misdemeanor.
Burglary is divided into two types of degrees. First degree burglary is entering an inhabited building or dwelling with the intent of committing a theft or a felony. Second degree burglary is entering a building with the specific intent to commit a theft or a felony.
First degree burglary can only be filed as a felony and carries a maximum punishment of six years in state prison. First degree burglary is also a Strike Offense. Second degree burglary can be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony and carries a maximum punishment of three years in state prison. It is not required that the theft or the intended felony have actually been committed.
Carjacking is considered a violent theft crime and a Strike Offense. Carjacking involves the felonious taking of another’s motor vehicle against the will of the person in possession through the use of force or fear. Carjacking can only be filed as a felony and carries a maximum punishment of nine years in state prison. Sentencing enhancements are also charged where an injury occurs, a weapon is used, or the carjacking is committed in conjunction with a kidnapping.
California Law defines embezzlement as fraudulently taking property of another which has been entrusted to them with the intent to permanently deprive the owner. Embezzlement can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor.
Felony embezzlement carries a maximum punishment of three years in state prison. Misdemeanor embezzlement carries a maximum punishment of a year in county jail. An embezzlement conviction will normally require restitution to be made to the owner of the property taken.
Receiving Stolen Property
Receiving stolen property involves buying or receiving stolen property with knowledge that the property was stolen. Receiving stolen property can be filed as either a felony or a misdemeanor. If the value of the property is greater than $950, the charge can be a felony.
Felony receiving stolen property carries a maximum possible punishment of three years in state prison. Misdemeanor receiving stolen property carries a maximum possible punishment of one year in county jail.
Robbery, under California Law, is a violent crime and a Strike Offense. Robbery is the unlawful taking of personal property from another person through the use of force or fear. The maximum possible penalty for robbery is five years in state prison.
Robbery can only be charged as a felony. Certain types of robbery carry additional penalties such as robbery in a residence, robbery of an ATM user, or robbery of a transit driver.
Shoplifting is the entering of a commercial establishment with the intent to commit larceny where the value of the property is less than $950. Shoplifting is charged as a misdemeanor and carries a maximum possible penalty of one year in the county jail.
San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer for Theft Crimes
If you or a family member is facing a theft crime charge, the criminal defense attorney you choose to represent you will be the single most important decision you make. You should retain a criminal defense attorney who is experienced with defending theft crimes. Theft crimes charged as felonies are often reducible to misdemeanors but you must have the right attorney to make your case for you.
The Law Office of Gregory Garrison and its team of legal professionals has successfully handled hundreds of theft crimes cases and has a proven track record of obtaining the best possible outcome for their clients. Client’s felony charges are often reduced to misdemeanors or even dismissed altogether.
Contact our office today to get the best possible defense team working on your theft crime case. Contact a San Diego theft crime attorney at the Law Office of Gregory Garrison today at 619-615-4216.