There are many different theft crimes prosecuted in the state of California. Petty theft is one example of a theft crime. The state uses Penal Code 488 to define petty theft, as opposed to grand theft.
Acts of theft that do not qualify as grand theft are considered petty theft. This includes the theft of items worth less than $950. Dig deeper into the definition of petty theft in California by calling (310) 997-4688. The Simmrin Law Group is ready to help you.
Defining the Act of Theft in California
The basic definition of theft in California involves taking items from someone else. Taking property of any value is an example of theft. However, not everyone who takes property from another person should face theft charges. In some cases, they can face charges of:
Robbery involves taking someone’s property through the use of force or fear. Consider the following example. Man A approaches Man B at an ATM. Man A draws a knife and threatens to hurt Man B if he does not hand over his wallet. This is an example of robbery, not theft.
A burglary occurs when someone enters a property or locked vehicle in order to carry out theft or another crime. Burglary is an example of a theft crime, but it is punished using specific legal codes. Often, burglary charges are more serious than basic charges for theft.
Other Types of Theft
There are a number of other unique charges used to prosecute acts of theft in Los Angeles. These charges vary based on the circumstances of the crime. For example, someone might face charges for:
These charges are closely associated with petty or grand theft. However, they are often prosecuted differently in court. Find out more about these charges by working with the Simmrin Law Group. Contact our theft crime lawyers in Los Angeles now by calling (310) 997-4688.
Defining Petty Theft Charges in Los Angeles
Petty theft charges cover acts of theft that are not considered grand theft. This means that individuals may face petty theft charges if they steal something worth under $950. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Individuals could face more serious charges if they steal:
Additionally, in some cases, grand theft charges may apply if someone steals more than $250 in value. This holds true if someone is accused of stealing agricultural or aquacultural products. Additionally, petty theft charges only apply if someone takes items indirectly. Forcing someone else to hand over money or goods can lead to more serious charges. Petty theft charges only apply in specific cases in California.
Penalties for a PC 488 Conviction
The court considers petty theft to be a misdemeanor-level offense. Individuals who are convicted of petty theft face:
- Fines of up to $1,000
- Jail time of up to six months
Petty theft is a relatively minor theft crime. More serious charges like grand theft lead to more severe penalties. For example, a grand theft conviction can lead to three years in prison. The repercussions for a robbery or burglary conviction are even more severe.
Defenses for Petty Theft Accusations
A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help if you were charged with petty theft. We understand how the court defines this criminal act. Our team also understands the strategies that work to handle petty theft accusations. Allow us to argue that:
- You took property with the consent of the owner
- You were only borrowing a piece of property
- You were falsely accused of petty theft
The Simmrin Law Group can put knowledge and experience to work for you after a theft crime accusation. You can also reach out to us if you were accused of grand theft, robbery, or burglary. We’re ready to defend you in and out of the courtroom. Contact us and get help with all aspects of your legal claim.
Get Help with Petty Theft Charges with the Simmrin Law Group
Penal Code 488 handles petty theft charges in the state of California. Get help handling a petty theft accusation by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. Just complete our online contact form. You can also call (310) 997-4688. Our theft crime lawyers in Los Angeles are ready to help you.
Review your rights today with a free consultation. Don’t wait to get legal help on your side.