Arrested or Under Investigation for a Theft?
San Jose Theft Attorney Defends Against Criminal Charges in Bay Area
The unlawful taking of property belonging to another in California is known as “theft.” Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a minor theft charge. Even a misdemeanor charge can have life-altering consequences. If convicted, you face limitations to your freedom. For example, you may become ineligible for government programs like housing, food share and education grants. Theft crime can take many forms, depending on the nature and value of the property taken. As a result, you may have questions about the allegations against you. Our San Jose theft attorney can help defend you and protect your best interests.
At The Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich, we believe you deserve the best defense possible against criminal allegations. We recognize that even the least severe theft charge can result in serious penalties. Ultimately, we know a criminal history can follow you for years to come. If you have discovered you are under investigation, then we can use pretrial measures to protect you. Furthermore, if you have been arrested, we can aggressively work to help you obtain a swift and favorable resolution.
How Does California Define Theft?
Based on the severity or type of stolen property, theft crimes are prosecutable as felonies or misdemeanors in California. Generally, a criminal defense attorney can help reduce or dismiss some charges. As a result, understanding the distinctions can be very important. However, to do this, it is important to know how a theft crime will be prosecuted. If you have been arrested, you should contact a San Jose theft attorney immediately. An experienced theft lawyer can help build a defense for theft allegations that involve:
- Deceit: Usually, most people think theft charges involve taking property without consent. However, you can face allegations based on deceit. For example, price switching on a product can be considered theft by deceit.
- Fraud: Generally, these charges involve false pretenses. For instance, this includes lying or impersonating someone else to illegally obtain another’s property.
- Larceny: As a rule, larceny is defined as taking property directly possessed by another party. These charges can involve shoplifting or stealing property from someone’s home or car. Depending on the circumstances, larceny can be tried as a misdemeanor or felony.
- Embezzlement: Embezzlement occurs when a person in a position of trust manipulates records to obtain assets. Usually, this involves stealing entrusted money or property.
What Is the Difference Between Petty Theft and Grand Theft?
Shoplifting or retail theft represents the most common example of petty theft. However, petty theft can also involve the stealing of unattended property or price switching. Usually, these crimes are charged as a misdemeanor. The penalties for a 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.
California law defines petty theft as stolen property valued at $950 or less. Additionally, these charges are involved when property is not taken directly from an owner. For example, taking a package left on your doorstep addressed to a neighbor could be petty theft. However, if the property is an automobile, firearm or other exception, then the charges can be listed as grand theft.
Depending on the circumstances, grand theft may be prosecuted as either a felony or misdemeanor. Large-scale retail theft, grand theft auto and robbery represent examples of grand theft offenses. Usually, a judge will consider your prior criminal history, if any. Unfortunately, a felony conviction can carry a penalty including three years in state prison. You may face charges of grand theft when property is valued greater than $950 or is directly taken from the owner. Furthermore, the type of property that is allegedly taken can turn a petty theft into grand theft. This involves firearms, automobiles, certain animals and other items.
Facing Criminal Allegations? Contact Us for a Free Consultation
Do you suspect you are under investigations for theft? Are you concerned that allegations against you are exaggerated? Worried about the impact the allegations can have on you? Since California has a three-strikes rule, theft allegations can be life-altering. Without a criminal defense attorney, you face severe penalties and/or jail time. Fortunately, a reliable and experienced San Jose theft attorney can help mitigate your risk of conviction. A defense lawyer can negotiate with prosecutors to minimize and possibly eliminate the potential impact on your future.
If you are facing charges of retail theft, grand theft, or any other theft crime, then we can help. We understand that you need reliable legal representation to protect your best interests. For over a decade, The Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich has defended clients. Ultimately, our focus is to quickly and efficiently resolve the charges against you in a favorable way. Contact our firm at (408) 898-9653 or through our website to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients throughout the Bay Area.