Los Angeles Grand Theft Attorney
When you hear the term “grand theft,” you likely think of masked robbers speeding away from a jewelry store with bags filled with diamonds and money. While this situation certainly would be considered grand theft, California law is broader in its definition of the crime. If you embezzle hundreds of thousands of dollars from an employer, you could face charges for this offense. You could also be charged with grand theft if you steal avocados, olives, domestic fowl, or other statutorily specific agricultural items exceeding a value of $250. Charges for this offense are taken seriously by prosecutors, and if you’re found guilty of the offense, you face incarceration and hefty fines.
If you or someone you know has been charged with grand theft or another related crime, call a grand theft attorney from Spolin Law P.C. immediately. To learn more about how we can fight the accusations and penalties you are facing, contact us at (310) 424-5816 to speak with a Los Angeles theft attorney today.
Understanding Grand Theft in California
Per California Penal Code (PC) 487, you can be charged with grand theft for stealing someone else’s property, money, or labor valued at $950 or more. Under more specific circumstances, such as when the theft was produce, farm animals, or sea life, a grand theft charge can be levied over a mere $250 worth of property.
Examples of grand theft include:
- Borrowing a family member’s car and keeping it for an extended period of time
- Stealing $1,000 worth of goods from a jewelry store
- Taking more than $250 of shellfish from a market
- Stealing someone else’s dog that is valued at more than $950
Sometimes accidents happen, or a misunderstanding arises that leads to you being charged with grand theft. To avoid this situation, contact a Los Angeles grand theft lawyer at our firm right away if you are being accused of this offense.
Penalties for Grand Theft
The state of California considers grand theft a “wobbler,” meaning it can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony. Factors that help decide how your charge will be classified include the value of the property or goods you allegedly stole, whether you were malicious in committing the crime, and whether or not the offense was planned and deliberate.
If convicted of grand theft, you face the following statutory penalties:
- Misdemeanor – Up to one year in county jail and fines reaching $1,000
- Felony – Up to three years in prison and fines reaching $10,000
It is important to note that if the theft you allegedly committed was theft of a firearm, you will automatically be charged with a felony. Additionally, there are a number of sentence enhancements you face depending on a number of circumstances. They are:
- An additional one year of incarceration if the property stolen exceeds a value of $65,000
- Two extra years of incarceration if the property’s value was worth more than $200,000
- Three additional years of incarceration if the property’s value exceeds $1,300,000
- Four extra years of incarceration if the property was worth a value of more than $3,200,000
There are a number of collateral faces you may encounter as a result of a grand theft conviction, including difficulty finding a job after getting out of jail or prison, inability to obtain or maintain certain professional licenses, exclusion from federal financial aid, child custody or visitation issues, immigration problems, and more.
Both the statutory and collateral penalties that follow a grand theft conviction can be devastating and affect your life in several ways. If you’re facing charges for this offense, contact one of our grand theft lawyers immediately.
Defenses Against Your Grand Theft Charge
Remember that the accusations against you are just that – accusations. They must be proven in court by the prosecution before you face any penalties. There are numerous effective ways Spolin Law P.C. can defend against your grand theft charges, including:
- Mistaken Identity – This defense involves showing that the prosecution cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were the one who stole the property.
- Inflated Amount – A valid defense could be to argue that the value of the stolen items is below the for $950 (or $250 for certain items) threshold for grand theft.
- Entrapment – If the only reason you committed the crime of grand theft was because a law enforcement officer guided you to it, you could claim that you were entrapped.
- Mistake in Ownership – If you thought the property you are being accused of stealing was legitimately yours or if the property’s owner gave you permission to take it, we will argue that you cannot be guilty of theft.
For more information about potential defenses for grand theft charges, contact a Los Angeles grand theft attorney from Spolin Law P.C. today.
A Los Angeles Grand Theft Attorney Can Help
Disputing the prosecution’s accusations against you in a compelling way is crucial to beating a grand theft charge. Spolin Law P.C. knows how prosecutors approach these cases. Using this knowledge and drawing from past successes, we are uniquely able to investigate the facts and defend clients from unfair tactics the prosecution might use.
Spolin Law P.C. is a firm that aggressively investigates all of the facts to isolate which defense strategy has the best chance of succeeding. We fight for not-guilty verdicts or non-jail sentences. When appropriate, we hire expert analysts whose testimony can improve your chances of maintaining your freedom.