A person charged with the crime of theft is alleged to have unlawfully taken the property of another with the intent to deprive the owner of the property permanently. The crime of theft includes the crimes of larceny, embezzlement, larceny by trick and device, and obtaining property by false pretenses. California Penal Code Section 484 makes it unlawful for any person to feloniously steal, take, carry away, lead, or drive away the personal property of another. It is also illegal to fraudulently appropriate property which has been entrusted to you. Theft is also defrauding a any person of money, labor, real property, personal property by any false or fraudulent representation or pretense. Thus, the crime of theft can and does include many types of factual scenarios and circumstances.
Punishment for crimes of theft varies. Penal Code Section 486 defines two types of theft; petty theft and grand theft. Grand theft is committed when the money, labor, or real or personal property taken is valued at more than four-hundred dollars. (Pen. Code, sec. 487.) Anything less than four-hundred dollars is considered petty theft. (Pen. Code, sec.488.) Petty theft is a misdemeanor offense and is punishable by a fine up to one-thousand dollars or by imprisonment in the county jail up to six months, or both. Grand theft, either as a felony or misdemeanor, is punishable by for up to one year in county jail or state prison. (Pen. Code, sec.489.) In special cases involving grand theft of a firearm, theft is punishable with a minimum sentence of 16 months and a maximum sentence of 3 years in state prison.
Petty theft is a misdemeanor. A second arrest for petty theft may be filed and punished as a felony. (Pen. Code, sec. 666. )A second conviction for petty theft carries a maximum of one year in either county jail or state prison. Petty theft can also be filed as grand theft when several petty thefts are committed against the same victim and the combined loss is over four-hundred dollars. Thus, multiple arrests and convictions for petty theft are make the punishment more severe.
Call Attorney Fay Arfa immediately if you or a loved one are accused of any theft offense.