Theft crimes are handled very harshly in the court system in Los Angeles. There are several charges used to prosecute different acts of theft, including:
- California Penal Code Section 484(a) and 488: Petty Theft
- California Penal Code Section 487: Grand Theft
- California Penal Code Section 211: Robbery
- California Penal Code Section 459: Burglary
Grand theft is one of the most serious theft crime charges. Individuals who are convicted of grand theft can expect to be incarcerated and heavily fined. Learn more about the specific definition of grand theft and defenses against this criminal charge with the professionals at the Simmrin Law Group.
Let Us Define PC 487: Grand Theft
PC 487 is used to prosecute acts of theft that involve more than $950 in California. This penal code can also apply if individuals steal any of the following items, regardless of their monetary value:
- Motor Vehicles
Note that in the case of motor vehicles, individuals are typically charged with a different criminal act called California Penal Code Section 487(d)(1): Grand Theft Auto.
Individuals may even face grand theft charges if they steal more than $250 worth of:
- Domestic Fowls
- Other Agricultural Crops
- Aquacultural Crops
Grand theft may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony in California. Generally, prosecutors will treat grand theft as a felony if it involves firearms or motor vehicles. The court will also consider an individual’s criminal history and the severity of the theft when deciding if a charge will be a misdemeanor or a felony.
Note that, unlike robbery charges, individuals can be charged with grand theft even if they do not use threats or force on another person.
Check Out These Examples of Grand Theft
There are many different acts that can be prosecuted under PC 487, including the following examples:
Man A works with Man B. Man B always brings his personal laptop to work and plays games on it at lunch. Man A decides to take the laptop one day, while Man B is distracted. He walks off with a piece of technology worth over $1,000 and is guilty of grand theft.
Woman A enters the farm of Woman B one night. Woman B has several horses, and Woman A wants one. She takes a young mare and rides off. The horse is technically worth less than $950, but Woman A is automatically guilty of grand theft because she stole a horse, regardless of its monetary value.
Go Over the Penalties for a Grand Theft Conviction
Misdemeanor grand theft and felony grand theft are punished in different ways in Los Angeles. Individuals who are convicted of misdemeanor grand theft can be sent to jail for 1 year. A felony grand theft conviction can lead to 3 years of prison time.
Note that the courts in California can add:
- 1 Additional Year in Prison for Grand Theft of $65,000 – $200,000
- 2 Additional Years in Prison for Grand Theft of $200,00 – $1,300,000
- 3 Additional Years in Prison for Grand Theft of $1,300,000 – $3,200,000
- 4 Additional Years in Prison for Grand Theft of Over $3,200,000
A grand theft conviction can take years of your life away.
Focus on Criminal Defenses for Grand Theft Charges in California
There are defenses that can be used to beat charges under PC 487. You can contact a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer if you or a loved one has been charged with grand theft. Your lawyer could build a case if:
You Did Not Intend to Steal Anything
Individuals must intentionally take someone else’s property to be convicted of grand theft. If you did not intentionally commit an act of theft, you should not be convicted under PC 487.
You Were Taking Your Property
Sometimes, you may take property that belongs to you. For example, if you go to an ex’s house to get your collection of records after a break-up, you should not be charged with grand theft.
You Were Falsely Accused
Many individuals are falsely accused of criminal acts in California every day. Your lawyer can focus on the facts of your case and investigate your alibi if you were blamed for an act of grand theft that you did not commit.
Get Professional Help Handling PC 487 Charges
A conviction under California Penal Code 487: Grand Theft can impact the rest of your life. Don’t lose years of your life to prison by trying to face these charges alone. You can reach out to the Simmrin Law Group for professional help. We offer our clients a FREE initial case evaluation for grand theft charges.
You can reach us by filling out our online contact form or calling (310) 896-2723.