Theft crimes come with the possibility of substantial penalties, so it's important that you seek the advice of a quality Sacramento criminal attorney to defend you against your theft charges. With my 20 years in criminal law in the Sacramento region - including previous experience as a prosecutor - I provide my clients with effective, determined, and skilled criminal defense to protect their rights and interests. A past client had this say about my representation:
My son's case involved felony theft and drug charges. We were thrilled when Nancy was able to obtain a dismissal on all charges. My son's now back on track with his career. Nancy is the kind of attorney who fights hard for her clients and actually cares about them. I recommend her highly. - Shawn M.
Call me at 916-442-1200 to discuss how I can help you with your case.Petty Theft
California Penal Code Sections 484 through 490 define the elements of, and penalties for, the two categories of theft crimes: petty theft and grand theft. Petty theft - which includes shoplifting - is any taking of property valued at $950 or less. Penalties for a first time petty theft include probation, restitution, work project, counseling, fines up to $1000, and/or jail time of up to six months.
Most petty thefts are charged as misdemeanors. However, if the value of the property taken is $50 or less, prosecutors have discretion to charge the crime as an infraction as long as the defendant has no previous theft convictions. An infraction is a preferable outcome for the defendant since it requires no jail time and has a maximum fine of $250.
On the other hand, the district attorney also has discretion to charge a petty theft offense as a felony if the defendant has previous theft convictions. Because the charging of a petty theft varies with the circumstances of the alleged crime, the criminal record of the defendant, and the disposition of the prosecutor, it's vital for you to be represented by an experienced criminal defense lawyer.Grand Theft
Any theft in which the value of the stolen property exceeds $950 is charged as grand theft. An exception to this is theft of a vehicle, which in all cases is charged as grand theft - hence the name grand theft auto. Grand theft can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the crime and the criminal record of the defendant. These are known as 'wobblers'.
If a grand theft involves a firearm, state prison terms range from 16 months to 3 years. Any other grand theft conviction comes with a sentence in county jail for up to one year, or a longer term in state prison. All grand theft convictions come with the possibility of probation, restitution, work project, counseling, and substantial fines.
Also, since agriculture is such a big part of the economy of the Sacramento region, it's important to note that California law does set a lower limit for grand theft in some instances involving agricultural products and livestock. For example, domestic fowls, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and fish are all classified as petty thefts up to only $250. Anything above that is considered grand theft.Free and Confidential Consultation
The complexity of California law make it essential for anyone charged with theft to seek quality legal representation. I've defended numerous clients against theft charges and can help you with your case. Call me at 916-442-1200 for a free and confidential consultation.