While incidents of theft do not often make the front page news, theft is still one of the most common misdemeanors that occur in the United States every year. There are actually several different types of theft, all that ladder up to the blanket charge, though each type may carry different punishments and sentencing, based on the severity of the crime, the circumstances, and the person’s past record.
The most basic type of theft is also known as larceny. This is defined as the unlawful taking of property that does not belong to the person in question — that is, taking something from another person or entity without that person’s permission, or with the intent of that person not knowing. The vast majority of theft cases are considered larceny. The law defines “another entity” as either a person or a place. Simple shoplifting is considered larceny, for example. If the value of the stolen item is considerable, the charge may be elevated to grand theft, which will result in more severe punishments. Grand theft auto is larceny of a moving vehicle.
Identity theft is another common type of theft — the rate of which is continually increasing as personal information, usually stored online, becomes easier and easier to obtain. Using anyone’s personal information, including a credit card number or debit card at an ATM, is considered identity theft if the other person did not grant express permission to do so. Because identity theft can be so damaging to the victim, charges of identity theft are sometimes considered a federal crime. This can result in long jail sentences and the confiscation of any property allegedly obtained with stolen funds.
Another type of theft is fraud. The idea of fraud made waves in recent years, with some very highly publicized cases, such as that of Bernie Madoff, yet fraud has long been a common type of theft. Fraud can include the manufacture and distribution of counterfeit items or the personal deception of another person that results in his or her surrendering of property under false pretenses.
If you or someone you know has been charged with any type of theft, it is imperative to seek legal counsel. You need to contact a skilled San Jose criminal defense attorney. Call (408) 898-9770 to schedule a free initial consultation at the Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich today.