Theft Crimes Attorney in San Jose
Lawyer Defending Clients Charged with Theft Crimes Throughout the Bay Area
The unlawful taking of property belonging to another in California is known as theft. Theft crime can take many forms, depending on the nature and value of the property taken. There is, however, no such thing as a minor theft charge. At The Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich, we recognize that even the least severe theft charge can result in serious penalties and a criminal history that can follow an individual for years to come.
Experienced Santa Clara Criminal Defense Attorney
While the most common type of theft crime in California is shoplifting, a type of petty theft, there are many other classifications of theft crimes. Based on the severity or type of stolen property, theft crimes are prosecutable as felonies or misdemeanors and understanding the distinctions is very important.
California law provides that intentional taking of another’s property is considered petty theft when:
- The taken property is valued at $950 or less;
- The property was not taken directly from the person of the owner, as would be the case in a robbery; and
- The property is not an automobile, firearm, horse, or certain other exceptions.
While shoplifting or retail theft represents the most common examples, petty theft can also include the stealing of unattended property or price switching. Petty theft is most often charged as a misdemeanor, and penalties for conviction may include up to six months in prison and fines of up to $1,000. Prior convictions may increase the severity of potential penalties.
The classification of grand theft refers to a degree of theft that is significantly more serious than petty theft. Grand theft may be charged when:
- The property taken is valued at more than $950;
- The property, of any value, was taken directly from the person of the owner;
- The property taken is an automobile or firearm; or
- The property taken is a horse, or certain other animals.
Large-scale retail theft, grand theft auto and robbery represent several examples of offenses that would be considered grand theft. Grand theft may be prosecuted as either a felony or misdemeanor based on the circumstances of the case and the prior history of the accused. As a felony, potential penalties can include up to three years in state prison.
Types of Theft Crimes
In addition to delineating how a theft crime is to be prosecuted, California statutes also recognize four methods for committing theft:
- Theft by larceny, including shoplifting or stealing property from a garage or shed;
- Theft by fraud or false pretense, including lying or impersonating someone else to illegally obtain another’s property;
- Theft by trick, including price switching or other deceitful practice; and
- Theft by embezzlement, including stealing of entrusted money or property.
Aggressive, Affordable Theft Crimes Defense
In his career, Attorney Nick Cvietkovich has worked with thousands of clients, many facing theft crime charges. He understands the importance of a full analysis of the facts and is prepared to thoroughly investigate your case so that your defense can be built on every available piece of information and evidence. When necessary, he is also able to negotiate with prosecutors to minimize and sometimes eliminate the potential impact to your future.
If you are facing charges of retail theft, grand theft, or any other theft crime, you need reliable legal representation. Contact The Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich today at 408-625-1130 to schedule your free consultation. From our office in San Jose, we are proud to serve clients throughout the Bay Area and look forward to working with you.