Suppose you are in a compromising situation and wonder, “What is Grand Theft in California?” relating to legal terms. You’ve come to the right text. This is the best resource in situations that involve the California Penal Code, grand theft, and your rights. 

As an expert in the legal profession, I can clarify grand theft and what criminal codes and penalties apply.

This blog post unravels the legal definition of grand theft, differentiates between petty and grand theft based on property value, and explains the potential penalties for committing such a felony. It also provides clear instructions on why engaging an experienced attorney can significantly help your defense.

Here is how an expert deciphers California law for grand theft.

Understanding Grand Theft and Petty Theft in California

For a better understanding of what defines these terms under the penal code, we’ll look at the distinguishing factors of what is grand theft and what is petty theft. 

pc 487

Definition of Petty Theft

Petty theft in California falls under Penal Code § 484(a). This crime involves stealing property or services valued below $950.

Commonly, petty theft includes forgery for personal gain and unauthorized access to such items or services. The property’s value sets the parameters that distinguish the crime between petty theft and severe offenses like grand theft auto, burglary, carjacking, robbery, and felony receiving stolen property in the penal code.

Definition of Grand Theft

Grand theft (PC 487) is a criminal offense. It means that someone wrongfully takes another person’s property, money, or items of significant value

The grand theft charge applies in California to substantial amounts, typically over $950.

Depending on circumstances, cases like shoplifting can escalate to charges of grand theft if the cumulative value exceeds this threshold. Unlike robbery or burglary, grand theft may not involve any element of force or breaking into premises and carries severe consequences due to its felony status.

Embezzlement can also fall under grand theft when an entrusted person misappropriates funds or properties for personal use.

Penalties for Grand Theft in California

Grand theft in California can lead to harsh penalties. These fines include charges of misdemeanor and felony offenses that significantly impact a person’s future.

Charges for Grand Theft

Grand theft in California carries strong legal penalties. Without proper representation, violators can face an initial three-year prison sentence and pay fines of up to $5,000 if convicted. 

California state laws rely on the three-strikes law system signed in 1994. This law means that after three serious convictions, which include grand theft, the wrongdoer will face serious legal consequences and jail time.

These criminal charges dramatically escalate depending on the type of stolen property and its value. California deems grand theft as a wobbler offense. This flexible statute can change the level of seriousness in the charge as either a misdemeanor or felony.

 An experienced attorney can navigate the seriousness of these charges and manipulate the potential weight of these sentences by understanding the nuances of these laws.

Difference Between Misdemeanor and Felony Grand Theft

Grand theft in California is either a misdemeanor or a felony offense. The distinction depends on the severity of the crime and its potential consequences.

Misdemeanor grand theft typically refers to cases when the stolen property is valued below a certain threshold, while felony grand theft involves higher-value items. 

The punishment for misdemeanor grand theft can include a one-year jail term. Felony grand theft carries a maximum sentence of up to three years in a California State prison.

Any theft, including a firearm, is automatically a felony offense regardless of its value.

Grand theft forgery charges can benefit from the wobbler offenses clause and may carry misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the circumstances. A judge may apply one to three years of imprisonment terms.

Sentencing and Consequences

A conviction of grand theft in California has serious consequences. The maximum sentence for grand theft can be up to 3 years in jail.

Felony charges relating to grand theft auto range from 16 months to 3 years and can carry fines up to $10,000 or both. A judge will evaluate each case on its merits.

Misdemeanor grand theft convictions can also result in jail time. A judge will determine the length of incarceration depending on each felony conviction. Felony grand theft convictions include three years in prison and fines of up to $5,000.

Consultation With a Qualified Grand Theft Attorney

Consulting with a knowledgeable grand theft attorney is the best line of defense. Proper legal representation provides a personalized case evaluation and allows an attorney to develop an effective defense strategy.

Importance of Hiring a Knowledgeable Attorney

Hiring a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney is paramount when facing theft charges in California. The complexities of the legal system are daunting. Only a trained legal expert can navigate the law and the system’s complexities successfully and bargain on your behalf.

A specialized criminal defense lawyer has the expertise to develop the best defense strategy in grand theft cases. They advocate and protect your rights. 

A qualified attorney has the skills, experience, and connections, understands every aspect of the law, and applies them to your advantage throughout the proceedings.

Regardless of the charges, a criminal defense attorney will provide support during the legal process, fighting on your behalf.

Benefits of Legal Representation

Consulting with a qualified grand theft attorney provides several benefits in California. A knowledgeable attorney has the skills to build a strong defense strategy and protect your rights during the legal process.

This expertise allows them to apply the law and protect your rights when facing grand theft charges in Los Angeles. 

Case Evaluation and Defense Strategies

The law in California, regardless of which county, is the same. Consulting a qualified grand theft attorney is the best defense strategy. Reputable law firms offer a free evaluation for grand theft charges.

A solid defense team takes a personalized approach to hearing your case and evaluates the information on the sound principles of California law.

Don’t Hesitate—Contact David L. Faulkner for Help Today!

If you’re facing what is grand theft in California, seek legal representation immediately. At the Law Office of David L. Faulkner, we understand the complexities of grand theft in California, how the law works, and how to save you from serious charges. 

We are criminal law experts who take control because your rights matter to us.

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