No one wants to be accused of being a thief. Whether it is shoplifting or embezzlement, there are many theft crimes that carry penalties you do not want to face. Despite the fact that they are usually non-violent, theft crimes come with serious penalties. You can easily face several years in prison based on the amount of money you allegedly stole.
Because you do not want to treat it lightly when you have been accused of theft, you should turn to the Simmrin Law Group. You want to defend yourself against the offense as much as possible. Find out how an Encino theft crimes lawyer can help you fight these charges.
Common Theft Crimes in Encino, CA
Several theft crimes can be classified as misdemeanors or felonies. They can be violent and nonviolent. Some violent theft crimes involve robbery, motor vehicle theft, burglary, and bank robberies.
Nonviolent theft crimes involve identity theft, shoplifting, and embezzlement. The act of violence plays an important role in these crimes. If you have tried to take someone’s possession using force, you would be charged with a robbery offense.
You would be charged with a burglary offense when you have entered a property unlawfully with the intention of committing a crime. The way you are accused of committing the crime can significantly affect the type of charge you will face. Your Simmrin theft crimes lawyer in Encino can help you understand how this applies to your unique circumstances.
For a free legal consultation with a theft crimes lawyer serving Encino, call (310) 896-2723
The Elements of Theft
For you to be charged with a theft crime, your activity must fall under the following characteristics:
- You must have attempted to take property from another person.
- You must have taken property intending to permanently deprive the owner of it.
- You must have taken the property without the person’s consent.
All of these elements must be proven for you to be convicted of a theft crime. You may not be prosecuted for theft if one or several of these elements cannot be proven.
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Outdated Beliefs About Theft Crimes
Legal professionals and perpetrators have outdated beliefs about theft crimes, especially robbery and burglary. Some lawmakers would only charge offenders with burglary if it took place at nighttime. Fortunately, many legal professionals have let go of those beliefs.
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The Severity of Theft Crimes
You want to take any theft offense against you seriously. Theft crimes are not only considered misdemeanors. They can easily become felonies. Burglary may seem like a nonviolent offense, but another form of burglary is a home invasion. Home invasion is a burglary offense where someone enters a residence unlawfully while the occupants are inside.
If the occupants are assaulted at any time during the invasion, the penalties for home invasion can become more severe. The additional violence can turn the home invasion charge into a felony. Additional crimes or the presence of a weapon are just some factors determining whether a theft crime is a felony.
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Consequences of Theft Crimes
When you are facing felony charges, you are guaranteed to suffer harsher penalties for your crimes. Prison time is the minimum penalty you will face, along with fines. With theft crimes, the value of the items taken is another factor determining whether a crime is a misdemeanor or felony.
If the property’s value exceeds $950, the theft crime will be classified as a felony. If it is less than $950, the theft crime will be classified as a misdemeanor. This standard applies to all property types, from retail items to cars. You also may have to restore the value of the stolen property.
In addition to imprisonment and hefty fines, your criminal record will be permanently affected. Being convicted of a theft charge will make it harder for you to find employment and housing. The conviction can also affect other aspects of your life, like the custody of your children. You may sometimes lose custody of your children if you have been convicted of a theft charge.
How You Can Exercise Your Rights
As you can see, there is much that you can lose when you are convicted of a theft charge. When you have been accused of theft, you can defend yourself against those charges. Every accusation is not justified.
You may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. You may have been wrongly accused of stealing property that belongs to you. Whatever the case, it may be best to find out how to properly exercise your rights. An Encino theft crimes attorney will fight to protect your rights in court.
How a Theft Crimes Attorney in Encino, CA, Can Help You
For you to be convicted of a theft crime, the prosecution must prove that your actions meet the elements of theft. A theft crimes attorney in Encino, CA, can provide a strategy that helps you avoid a theft conviction. At Simmrin, our lawyers understand the different types of charges and what types of defenses are used to challenge them.
Defenses Used Against Theft Charges
One of the most common defenses used against theft charges is lack of intent. For offenders with prior convictions, this can be used to avoid a conviction. This defense claims that even if someone did commit theft, the mental intent was lacking. If the prosecution cannot show proof of mental intent, you may not be convicted of a theft crime.
Another common defense is the claim of ownership. Under this defense, you would prove that you are the rightful owner of the stolen property. It is up to the prosecution to prove that you are not the rightful owner of the property. You may not be convicted of a theft charge if this is not proven.
Duress is another common defense. Duress is a defense that allows an offender grace if they committed a crime under coerced circumstances. It would be up to you and your theft crimes lawyer to prove that you stole property under the threat of violence or death.
Talk to an Encino Theft Crimes Lawyer Today
When you have been accused of any crime related to theft, you need experienced legal counsel to help you build a winning case against the charges. Speak with an Encino theft crimes lawyer about the nature of your situation so they can begin working for you.
Contact us today at the Simmrin Law Group to discuss the theft charges you face in Encino, CA.
Call or text (310) 896-2723 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form