You can get help quickly if you are arrested for petty theft, grand theft, or robbery in Chula Vista, CA. The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group can begin working on your defense right away. Our team can take steps to:
- Help you handle legal interviews
- Block evidence against you
- Go over plea bargains you are offered
- Work to get your charges reduced or dismissed
- Build a strong defense for your case
Let our theft crimes lawyers in Chula Vista begin working on your defense right now. Getting legal advice right away can improve your odds of successfully resolving the charges you are facing.
Petty Theft and Grand Theft Charges in Chula Vista
Petty theft and grand theft charges are frequently discussed together in Chula Vista. However, there are a number of differences between these charges. Let’s focus on the way the courts use these charges right now.
Petty Theft Charges
The court system defines petty theft as stealing something that is worth less than $950. This charge only applies if an individual does not steal directly from someone else. Shoplifting is often prosecuted as petty theft for this reason.
However, you should be aware that there are a few major exceptions that can lead to more serious charges, even if you are accused of stealing something worth less than $950. Let’s review these exceptions now.
Grand Theft Charges
Grand theft charges may be prosecuted more harshly than petty theft. Grand theft charges may apply if an individual is accused of taking:
- Items directly from someone else
- Horses, motor vehicles, or firearms
- More than $250 worth of agricultural or aquacultural products
- More than $950 worth of any other items
A criminal defense lawyer in Chula Vista can help you understand the charges you are facing if you are accused of petty theft or grand theft.
Penalties for Petty Theft and Grand Theft
Generally, petty theft is punished less harshly than grand theft. A petty theft conviction could result in:
- Fines of up to $1,000
- Jail time of up to six months
Grand theft charges, on the other hand, could lead to higher fines and up to three years of time in prison.
Criminal Charges for the Theft of a Motor Vehicle in Chula Vista
You can face specific theft crime charges if you are accused of stealing someone else’s motor vehicle in Chula Vista. Depending upon your situation, the court could charge you with:
Unlawful Taking of a Motor Vehicle (Joyriding)
Unlawful taking of a motor vehicle – also called joyriding – is a criminal charge that may be used if someone steals a car while intending to eventually return it. Joyriding is considered less severe than grand theft auto charges and is sometimes offered as part of a plea bargain for grand theft auto accusations.
Grand Theft Auto
Grand theft auto charges are used to prosecute individuals who take a vehicle and intend to keep it to:
- Use it personally
- Resell it for money
- Take it apart and sell the parts for money
Generally, grand theft auto is treated more severely than joyriding in the court system in Chula Vista.
Penalties for Joyriding and Grand Theft Auto
Both joyriding and grand theft auto may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony. However, joyriding is more likely to be treated as a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor convictions for joyriding or grand theft auto can lead to:
- Fines of up to $5,000
- Jail time of up to one year
Grand theft auto charges are more likely to be treated as a felony. Felony convictions can result in:
- Fines of up to $10,000
- Prison time of up to three years
Understanding Robbery Charges in Chula Vista
Robbery represents the last major charge used to handle theft crimes in Chula Vista. You could be charged with robbery if you are accused of using force or fear to directly take valuable objects from another person. The court uses two charges to prosecute robbery:
- First-degree robbery
- Second-degree robbery
First-degree robbery charges only apply if you rob someone:
- Near at ATM after they used the ATM
- In an inhabited structure
- In a motor vehicle while it is in operation
Second-degree robbery charges are used to prosecute all other acts of robbery. Robbery convictions may lead to fines of up to $10,000 and up to nine years in prison.
Speak with a Chula Vista Theft Crimes Lawyer Now
Make sure you’re ready to take on theft crime charges by speaking with the Simmrin Law Group now. We can provide you with a FREE case evaluation to discuss your legal options if you are accused of petty theft, grand theft, or robbery.
Call (310) 997-4688 or complete our online contact form to reach a theft crimes lawyer in Chula Vista.