Santa Barbara Theft Lawyers

Under the laws of California, the crime of theft (also referred to as larceny) is defined as the unlawful taking of someone else’s property. Theft is divided into two classifications – petty theft and grand theft.
Thief stealing valuables from safe

PC 484(a) and PC 488 PC define petty theft as any theft crime that meets the following:

  • The value of the property stolen is $950 or less;
  • The property was not taken directly off another person (such as a robbery or
    mugging offense); AND
  • The item stolen was not a gun or an automobile

If an individual in California is convicted of petty theft, the individual’s crime is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or a maximum fine of $1,000.

Generally speaking, any theft that does not meet all of the requirements of a petty theft according to California Penal Code Section 484(a) and California Penal Code Section 488 PC will constitute a grand theft. In most cases, grand theft in California is a wobbler, meaning that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony grand theft. A misdemeanor grand theft is punishable up to one year in county jail. If it’s a felony, one may be sentenced to sixteen months, two years, or three years of incarceration in the county jail.

Defenses to Theft Charges in California

Sanford Horowitz experienced California criminal defense attorney. With his help, you may be able to beat theft charges using certain legal defenses, such as:

  • You did not intend to steal,
  • The allegedly stolen property actually belonged to you,
  • The person who owed the item consented to you taking it, and/or,

There are additionally many other defenses that the skilled trial attorney at Sanford Horowitz Criminal Defense prepared to engage to vigorously defend his clients.