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Petty Theft (Penal Code 484 & 488)

Elements: California defines petty theft as the unlawful and intentional acquisition of someone else’s property valued at less than $950.00

Penalties: Petty theft is charged as a misdemeanor in the State of California and carries a maximum sentence of 6 months in county jail and $1000.00 fine.

Defenses: There are several defenses a good criminal attorney can utilize to help your case:

–          It was not your intention to take the item(s)

–          The item(s) actually belong to you or you believed they belonged to you

–           The owner of the belongings consented to you taking them

–          You were falsely accused

Diversions: If it is your first theft- related offense, you may be eligible to participate in a petty theft diversion program.  In this scenario, you will be required to:

a). Repay the value of the belongings that were taken to their owner

b).  Complete an agreed upon number of community service hours and/or attend anti-theft classes.

If the value of the item(s) stolen amounts to less than $50.00, you may be able to have your charge reduced to an infraction.

 

Grand Theft (Penal Code 487)

Elements: California defines grand theft as the unlawful and intentional acquisition of someone else’s property with a value of $950.00 or more. However, certain thefts automatically qualify as grand theft regardless of their value. For example:

–          If the property is a firearm and/or motor vehicle

–          If the property is stolen directly off its owner , such as mugging

Penalties: Generally, in the State of California, grand theft can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor grand theft carries a maximum penalty of up to one year in county jail. A felony grand theft carries a maximum penalty of three years of incarceration.

Defenses: An experienced criminal defense attorney may utilize several defenses to beat your charges:

–          It was not in your intention to take the item(s)

–          The item(s) actually belong to you or at least you believed they did

–           The owner of the belongings consented to you taking them

–          You were falsely accused


Embezzlement

Elements: The CA Penal Code defines embezzlement as the “fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been entrusted”. We see this kind of situation most often in work environments. For example, if an employee has been entrusted with and delegated specific instructions for the care of company money or property, the failure to complete those instructions could lead to embezzlement charges.

Penalties: The crime of embezzlement actually falls under the more general umbrella of theft- it is simply one way of committing a theft. Therefore, whether you will be charged with petty theft or grand theft depends on the total value of goods embezzled. If the value of the property embezzled is greater than $950, is a firearm, or a car it will be charged as grand theft. If the property embezzled does not match this criteria, it will be charged as petty theft.

Defenses:

–          Claim of right

–          Lack of criminal intent

–          False Accusations

TESTIMONIALS

CONTACT

Law Offices Of Michael Scafiddi
Inland Empire Office
432 North Arrowhead Avenue
San Bernardino, California 92401
Phone: 909.381.1000
Fax: 909.381.1077
Email: info@scafiddilaw.com