Experienced Los Angeles Theft Attorney at Your Service
If you’ve been accused of a theft crime, your freedom is on the line. A Los Angeles theft attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney can help.
How Can a Theft Lawyer in Los Angeles Help You?
If a person in Los Angeles, CA, steals, uses, or takes another person’s property without their permission, they have committed a theft crime. Many crimes fit into that definition, including shoplifting, robbery, burglary, receiving stolen property, embezzlement, auto theft, fraud crimes, and even identity theft.
If you’ve been accused of a theft-related crime, your reputation and freedom are on the line. In California, theft offenses cover many offenses, from misdemeanor offenses to felonies. However, even misdemeanor offenses such as shoplifting can have severe penalties. Some of these crimes can be wobbler offenses, meaning they can be prosecuted either as misdemeanors or felonies. Sometimes, that can depend on the defendant’s prior criminal record or other circumstances of the crime.
Our law firm can help defend you from theft crime charges. The team at the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney is at your service to work through every option, from reducing charges to defeating them altogether.
When to Consult With a Petty Theft Lawyer Los Angeles
Petty theft is defined as taking property valued at under $950 from someone else without permission.
For example, in Los Angeles County, petty theft occurs when someone takes an item from the store and walks out without paying. However, a Los Angeles County prosecutor has to prove all the crime elements to convict that individual.
These elements include several actions:
- You seized property that belonged to someone else.
- Your intention while acquiring the property was to permanently deny the owner custody of it. You did so without the owner’s permission.
- You relocated the property and kept it for any period of time.
- The property had a total worth of less than $950.
In addition, California prosecutors have to determine that the individual has committed every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
If you have been accused of petty theft, you’ll need an experienced criminal defense attorney who takes a fresh approach to every new case. Our defense attorneys in Los Angeles handle criminal cases throughout Southern California by taking a comprehensive criminal defense approach.
Our Los Angeles Petty Theft Lawyer Is Ready to Stand by Your Side
If the property’s value was less than $50, petty theft could be charged as an infraction. Penalties for those charged with petty theft offenses consist of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Although petty theft is a misdemeanor, it can become a felony theft crime if you have a prior criminal record.
If you face felony offense charges, make sure you consult with experienced criminal defense lawyers. At the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney, you don’t have to face criminal charges alone. Our criminal defense attorneys will examine the facts of your case and come up with the best possible strategy to handle your legal issues.
Burglary Charges in Los Angeles
California Penal Code also covers burglary and robbery as theft crimes. Burglary, robbery as well as larceny are also considered theft-related property crimes. However, a property crime can also include some other non-theft-related offense.
There are two types of burglary offenses: first-degree burglary or residential burglary and second-degree burglary or commercial burglary. Burglary charges can be filed as either a misdemeanor or felony case.
Robbery consists of using physical force or fear to steal something belonging to someone else. If a weapon is used or the robbed person suffered severe bodily injury, penalties can be significant. The legal consequences of these crimes can be harsh, and that’s why it is crucial to reach out to a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney with enough experience in handling these cases.
Those convicted of theft can face different penalties, including jail time, hefty fines, mandatory counseling, or probation. It can be incredibly easy to violate the terms of your probation and land right back in jail or prison.
The repercussions of a probation violation vary, so the safest course of action is to retain a skillful criminal defense attorney to reduce the severity of your case charges.
What Is Mail Theft Los Angeles, California?
According to Section 1705 of Title 18 of the United States Code, responsible for mail theft is a person who “willfully or maliciously injures, tears down or destroys any letterbox or other receptacle intended or used for the receipt or delivery of mail on any mail route, or breaks open the same or willfully or maliciously injures, defaces or destroys any mail deposited therein.”
People’s mail can contain valuable information such as account numbers, financial information, and personal identification information. The information obtained that way can be used to commit identity theft or other theft-related offenses.
Mail theft is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison and a $1,000 court fine. However, depending on the circumstances of the crime, this offense could be charged by federal prosecutors, which can lead to more severe penalties.
On the other hand, identity theft is defined in the California Penal Code as the unlawful and intentional acquiring and retaining possession of another person’s personal identifying information.
The person responsible for identity theft uses someone else’s personal information to obtain money or items they are not entitled to. Identity theft is typically charged as a felony, carrying severe punishment that can result in a federal sentence and include prison time and restitution to the victim of identity theft.
Breaking California criminal law by committing mail theft, identity theft, or other related offenses can lead to serious charges, depending on the incident’s details and the accused’s criminal history.
Being convicted of a criminal charge may result in harsh penalties, such as jail time and getting a criminal record, both of which have life-long consequences. Even if you have nothing to hide and want to cooperate, you should consult with a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer before making any legal decisions.
How Is Grand Theft Auto Los Angeles Defined?
Grand theft auto (also known as auto burglary) in Los Angeles, California, is defined as the intentional taking of someone else’s car without the owner’s consent and with the intent to commit the theft offense and permanently take the vehicle from its owner.
Grand theft auto charge can be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony grand theft, depending on the circumstances and the criminal record of the person accused.
Although the statutory limit between petty theft and grand theft is $950 for most other items, when it comes to car theft cases, the crime is always filed as grand theft auto, regardless of the value of the car.
Some types of theft, such as embezzlement, grand theft by trick, false pretenses, and grand theft firearm, are also forms of grand theft charges.
What Are the Penalties for Car Theft Los Angeles?
Those convicted of misdemeanor grand theft auto face up to one year in county jail under the California Penal Code. Individuals convicted of felony grand theft auto face from 16 months to three years in state prison.
In both cases, the convicted individuals also face restitution to the victim for the value of their car. In addition, if the vehicle’s value exceeds certain limits, the convicted individuals may also spend additional time in a Los Angeles County Jail.
Penalties for car theft can be more severe if the defendant has a prior conviction for car theft, robbery, or burglary.
If you have been accused of car theft in Los Angeles, it is crucial to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. A theft conviction can lead to jail time, significant fines, and a criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life. Don’t try to handle this situation on your own – contact experienced theft lawyers today.
How Can a Los Angeles Theft Lawyer Defend You Against Theft Crimes
If you have been arrested and charged with a theft crime in Los Angeles, you need to speak with an experienced LA theft lawyer right away. Even if you are innocent, there are defenses that your lawyer may be able to raise on your behalf.
Your lawyer may be able to get the charges against you reduced or even dropped altogether. In some cases, a not-guilty verdict may be possible. Your lawyer will also protect your rights and ensure that you are treated fairly by the criminal justice system.
Some possible defenses that your lawyer may raise include the following:
- You did not intend to steal the property
- The property was yours, and you had a right to take it
- The property was taken as a result of mistaken identity
- The property was given to you voluntarily by the owner
- You were falsely accused of theft
- There was no actual theft committed
- The property was taken as a result of a legal purchase or sale
- You were falsely accused of another crime that was mistaken for theft
If you have been charged with any type of theft in Los Angeles, do not wait to create an attorney-client relationship with a criminal lawyer. Early intervention is key to protecting your rights and achieving the best possible outcome in your case. Contact a Los Angeles theft lawyer today for a free consultation.
Get Help From an Experienced Los Angeles Theft Crime Attorney
Regardless of your circumstance, you are not alone in your fight. If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges in Los Angeles, California, time is of the essence. Contact the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney today for a free consultation, and our legal team will assist with finding a solution to whatever theft charge you may face.