Arrested or Under Investigation for a Theft?

San Jose Theft Attorney Defends Against Criminal Charges in Bay Area

Theft is the unlawful taking of property belonging to another person or entity in California. 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. If charged with a theft crime, then, 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. An example of this includes price switching on a product.
  • 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 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, you may face a misdemeanor or felony larceny charge.
  • 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, with grand theft, you may face a felony or misdemeanor charge. 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 value is greater than $950 or is directly taken from the owner. Furthermore, the type of property involved 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? Worried about the impact that theft 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.


Nick is an excellent attorney who really cares for his clients and knows what he is doing. His experience can be easily noticed. He works tirelessly to achieve the best end results in every case. He is very straightforward and lets you know what to expect from beginning to end, it is a relief to speak to an attorney like him that is not just trying to retain your business, but genuinely cares for the people he works with. He has a great team of people working for him that are always willing to update you on your case and answer any questions you might have. If you want a great attorney who will not overcharge you and will get you the best results, call his office.

-Mari, Yelp

There’s not enough words to explain how grateful I am with Nick. He defended my husband in a 25 to life case. No matter how difficult it seemed Nick never gave up. He is very humble, respectful, honest and professional! He was always keeping us updated and letting us know of the status of the case. He would always return our calls and txt messages. Not like others lawyers that all they want is money. Thank you Nick for representing my husband and giving him a new opportunity to start all over with us. God bless you. Thanks to you the case was dismissed!!!

-Anna, Google

Nick is an incredible lawyer. I worked with Nick for about 2 years to have my case resolved. I selected him from conducting 7 interviews with a couple of other lawyers but I knew that he was the man for the job when I talked to him. I selected him after 2 interviews after I knew that he was an experienced lawyer and handled numerous cases within my charge. Nick is very thorough, professional, and always goes above and beyond for his clients. He is very exceptional and I would recommend Nick again in the future for any client that wants to either win, dismiss, or reduce any charges. I highly recommend Nick Cvietkovich.

-Ron, Yelp

When I got my second DUI, a friend of mine told me about Nick and how he is a great defense lawyer and would do whatever it took to get me the best deal. Upon meeting him, I already that I was in good hands. Throughout my case, he would keep me updated with any new information that would help my case and always be ready to answer my questions. He was very understanding with everything and helped me every way possible. Then when I got in trouble with driving without a license, I went back to him and he quickly took my case and did such a wonderful job. I was worried about what would have happened with me but Nick kept me calm and would make sure that I would be taken care. He is a great lawyer with great staff and is someone I recommend to anyone that is looking for a top notch defense lawyer. Thank you for everything Nick.

-Carlos, Yelp

I was pulled over by the police in San Jose about 4 months ago with a .09 blood alcohol level. I knew I had to get some help. This was my first time ever needing legal help. When I spoke with Nick he sounded like a nice guy. He was knowledgeable and offered a very reasonable price. So I went with him and hoped for the best. Little did I know I had just hired an excellent lawyer. He went to work right away. He made me feel comfortable and was always quick to get back to my questions and concerns and always kept me informed with the case. Four months later his strategy worked great. I had prepared myself for a DUI sentence but was hoping to get at least a wet reckless. I ended up walking away with a dry reckless and a small fine. My license was not affected either. I can’t thank him enough. Nick is a very intelligent, personable and clever lawyer. He knows the system well and was able to get me the lightest possible sentence. If I ever have any legal questions or need any legal help in the future, he will be my first call.

-Kelly, Avvo

I give 5 stars for Mr. Cvietkovich. My family was going through a terrible tragedy and on top of that had a legal issue that was time sensitive. I contacted Nick Cvietkovich and in just a few hours Mr. Cvietkovich got all the parties together and resolved the issues. Some things are worth more than money. My family and I owe Mr. Cvietkovich way more than he charged which was extremely reasonable. Everyone needs a lawyer that not only gets things done but gets things done quickly. Thank you Nick Cvietkovich – words cannot express my gratitude.

-Justin, Yelp

Why Choose Us

  • More than 14 years of experience
  • Have handled 4,500+ cases
  • Available 24/7
  • Top Accreditations
  • Represent wide range of criminal charges