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Grand Theft

Are you facing Grand Theft charges in Los Angeles?

Under California Penal Code Section 487, Grand Theft is a “wobbler” offense, which means that the prosecutor has discretion to charge it as a misdemeanor or a felony. You will be charged under this statue if you are accused of unlawfully taking someone else’s property that is valued above $950.

Grand theft charges are very serious, and an arrest alone can have devastating consequences. If you are facing charges for grand theft in Los Angeles, or the surrounding counties, contact experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Miles Booth at  424 272 1134.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Miles Booth

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

How does the prosecution prove that I am guilty of grand theft?

To be found guilty of grand theft under California Penal Code Section 487 the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you;

  • Took someone else’s property,
  • Without their consent,
  • And moved the property, however slight,
  • With the intention to deprive the owner permanently, or for a time period long enough to deprive the owner from significant enjoyment, and
  • The value of the property or labor was over $950

There are several different ways that grand theft can be committed, and the specific elements depend on what kind of grand theft is being charged. Some of these different ways include;

Grand Theft by Larceny. This crime occurs when you physically carry away another persons property. To prove grand theft by larceny the prosecutor must prove that you;

  • Took someone else’s property,
  • Without their consent,
  • Intended to deprive them of the property permanently, or to take it away for a long enough time to deprive them from enjoyment of the property, and
  • You moved the property some distance, and kept it for a period of time, and
  • The property is worth more than $950

Grand theft by False Pretense. To prove grand theft by false pretenses the prosecutor must prove that you;

  • Knowingly and intentionally deceived a property owner by false representation,
  • With the intent to persuade the owner to let you have ownership or possession of property,
  • The owner relied on your false statement, and let you have the property, and
  • The property is worth more than $950

Grand Theft by Embezzlement. To prove grand theft by embezzlement the prosecutor must prove that you;

  • Had property entrusted to you, and
  • Fraudulently converted or used the property for your own benefit,
  • With the intention of depriving the owner of use, and
  • The property is worth more than $950

Grand Theft by Trick. To prove grand theft by trick the prosecutor must prove that you;

  • Knowingly obtained someone else’s property,
  • The other person agreed to let you take possession because of your use of fraud or deceit,
  • You intended to permanently take the property,
  • You kept the property for any length of time, and
  • The property was worth more than $950

What is the difference between grand theft, petty theft and shoplifting?

Grand theft will be charged in lieu of California Penal Code section 459.5, shoplifting, or California Penal Code section 484, petty theft, when the value of the property taken exceeds $950. The only difference between grand theft and the lesser crimes of shoplifting and petty theft is the value of the item taken. This means that you can be charged with felony grand theft for taking a few high priced items from a department store.

How can I defend myself against grand theft charges?

Being charged with grand theft can be overwhelming, however a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can be your greatest asset in fighting these charges. Some of the most common legal defenses to a grand theft charge are that;

  • The item was not worth more than $950
  • You did not have the intent to steal the item
  • You had an honest and reasonable belief that the item(s) belonged to you
  • The true owner consented to taking possession of the item
  • You were falsely accused

Just because you have been accused of grand theft does not mean that you will be convicted. Call Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Miles Booth to discuss how to best defend your case.

What are the Penalties for a grand theft conviction?

California Penal Code Section 487, grand theft, is a “wobbler” offense, meaning that it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. The decision to charge it as a misdemeanor or a felony is up to the prosecutor, and will depend on a number of factors, including your criminal history, and the specific circumstances of your case.

Felony Grand Theft

A felony grand theft conviction is punishable by;

  • Felony probation, or
  • 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years incarceration

Grand Theft of a Firearm, however, is always charged as a felony, and is considered a strike under the California three strikes law. This means that if you are subsequently convicted of any other felony your sentence will be twice the term it would have been otherwise. You will also be required to serve at least 85% of your sentence on the grand theft of a firearm conviction.

Enhancements

When the value of the item taken is particularly high sentencing enhancements may apply, and increase your punishment by up to 4 years. The specific sentencing enhancements are as follows:

  • If the item is valued above $65,000 you will face an additional one year in custody
  • If the item is valued above $200,000 you will face an additional two years in custody
  • If the item is valued above $1,300,000 you will face an additional three years in custody
  • If the item is valued above $3,200,000 you will face an additional four years in custody

The court will add together the value of all items stolen under a common plan or scheme in determining values for enhancement purposes.

Misdemeanor Grand Theft

A misdemeanor grand theft conviction may result in up to;

  • Misdemeanor probation, or
  • Up to 1 year in county jail and/or
  • A fine of up to $1,000

Contact Los Angeles Criminal defense attorney miles booth

Facing grand theft charges can be overwhelming. Charges alone can have far-reaching consequences. Your housing, future job prospects, and most importantly, immediate freedom are in jeopardy.It is foolish to fight these cases alone. It is important to have a skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney by your side.

As a former prosecutor, Miles Booth understands the complexities of these cases and the blueprints for beating, or substantially mitigating the charges. He has handled thousands of cases throughout Los Angeles County and will aggressively defend you to get the best outcome possible.

To learn more about your options going forward, contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer, Miles Booth, for a free consultation at 424 272 1134.

Theft Crimes


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