Were You Arrested for a Theft Charge?

The crime of theft comes in many shapes and forms. The more serious the circumstances and the higher the value of the item taken, the harsher the punishment will be in both jail time and fines. Oftentimes, when people are charged with the crime of theft, they do not seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney soon enough. They believe that they can defend themselves or get by with a public defender, accepting the punishment allowable under the law. This is very risky, and if you care about your freedom and future, it is not smart.


Los Angeles Theft Lawyer


Los Angeles has some of the strictest laws for theft crimes. No matter what theft crime, be it petty theft or felony grand theft, Los Angeles theft crimes are serious crimes that can have serious consequences.

If you find yourself facing charges for Los Angeles theft crimes, you should immediately seek an experienced Los Angeles theft lawyer. A criminal defense attorney can ensure that your rights are fully protected throughout this difficult time.


What Can Our Los Angeles Criminal Defense Law Firm Do If You’re Accused With Theft Crime

Los Angeles theft crimes are some of the most common criminal offenses that people can get accused of committing each month. Because of this, judges often enact harsh sentences when they find a person guilty of theft.

We have a criminal defense attorney ready to help you with a free consultation protected by an attorney-client relationship. To help you with your theft charges, our Los Angeles criminal defense law firm will do the following:

  • We will provide you with expert legal guidance;
  • We will work hard to protect your constitutional rights;
  • We will devise the best possible legal defenses to help you guarantee success in your case;
  • We will search for compelling pieces of evidence to support your innocence or raise reasonable doubt; AND
  • We will negotiate for alternative punishments if possible, such as informal probation and a diversion program, or a satisfactory plea bargain.

Alongside the harsh sentence, the consequences of being convicted of theft offenses are also severe. It will leave a scar on your record and affect your ability to find a job or a home. Your constitutional rights are at risk, and our Los Angeles Criminal Defense law firm can ensure to protect your rights.

What You Need to Know About California Theft Law

Theft crimes are commonly divided into degrees or categories. They can be divided according to the value or type of the stolen property. Whether force was involved, and if any aggravating circumstances existed when you committed the crime.

The California Penal Code 484(a) PC defines theft offenses as the unlawful taking of another person’s property, money, or labor. There must be certain elements even to consider it as a theft crime:

  • Exerting force over someone else to take their property;
  • You must take the property against that person’s will and without their consent;
  • There must be a specific intent to take the property.

All forms of theft are severe crimes because they can harm the whole community. When you are convicted of any form of theft, harsh consequences are waiting for you. Contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers to help you with your theft offense.

We Can Handle the Most Common Types of Theft Crimes in California


Los Angeles Criminal Defense law firm has the best criminal defense attorneys for your theft-related crime. There are many forms of theft, and all of them have serious consequences.

Theft crimes are commonly classified as either petty theft or grand theft. However, not all theft offenses fit under these classifications. Here are the most common types of theft crimes that our Los Angeles criminal defense law firm can handle:

Grand Theft

Grand theft, according to Penal Code 487 PC, is any theft of anything worth $950 or more. You can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony, and when you’re charged with a misdemeanor, you can get a sentence of up to 1 year in county jail and a $1,000 fine.

Moreover, facing a felony charge can get you a sentence of up to 3 years in prison and fines reaching up to $10,000. Grand theft can include such crimes as stealing someone’s vehicle or taking something from another individual via the use of force, fear, or threat.

Petty Theft

Under Penal Code 486 PC, petty theft is the unlawful taking of property or labor worth $950 and less. If it’s your first time being convicted of petty theft, you will be charged with a misdemeanor and can spend up to six months in county jail and a $1,000 fine.

Even if the personal property stolen is valued at $950 or more, the prosecution against a defendant may bring petty theft charges if they have no prior convictions and the property is worth less than $100. The prosecution against the defendant may also bring charges if they made no criminal threats toward the victim, nor was any weapon used during the commission of this offense.


Robbery is defined as taking someone else’s property within their immediate presence. Under Penal Code 211 PC, a robbery is considered a felony with harsh consequences. This felony offense has two categories: first-degree robbery and second-degree robbery.

First-degree robbery involves taking someone else’s property from a vehicle, in the subway, on their property, or near an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). Second-degree robbery refers to other types of robbery.


Carjacking is considered a violent theft offense under the California penal code, and it involves stealing someone else’s vehicle by force or fear. Penal Code 215 PC states that carjacking is punishable by imprisonment in a California state prison for 3-5 years.

It is also a strike offense under California’s Three Strike Rule. You can face harsher consequences if you have a prior theft conviction that is also a strike offense. Contact a theft crime defense lawyer if you have had a prior conviction to help you with your theft case.

Identity Theft

An identity theft conviction can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Identity theft involves stealing a person’s identity or personal information and using it for your purpose, such as credit card fraud, without the consent of the person who owns them.

Each action you make while using another person’s identity will be charged as a separate offense leading to consequences depending on those offenses. Misdemeanor charges include jail time and informal probation.

Felony charges in Los Angeles County will land you three years in state prison. You can pay up to $10,000 in fines while receiving formal probation.

Receiving Stolen Property

According to the California Penal Code section 496 PC, purchasing, selling, hiding, or keeping any stolen property is a crime. In Los Angeles County, for receiving stolen property, you will be punished with an equal amount of consequences as the one who stole the property.

You can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony for receiving stolen property, depending on the circumstances. Prison time can range from 1-3 years, depending on the charges you face.


The California Penal Code defines vandalism as damaging or defacing someone else’s property. If you damaged someone else’s property amounting to $400, you would be charged with a misdemeanor, and you could be punished with up to one year in county jail.

Theft cases like these are considered property crimes, and a felony charge can lead to three years of incarceration and fines up to $10,000.

White-Collar Theft Crimes

White-collar theft crimes can lead to severe misdemeanor or felony charges, and you can get multiple charges from these offenses. Examples of white-collar theft crimes can be theft by false pretenses or fraud, embezzlement, and identity theft.

Since prosecutors can prosecute these types of crimes at a federal or state level, a white-collar theft conviction can permanently deprive you of opportunities for the rest of your life.

Other Theft Crimes in Los Angeles

Aside from these, other types of theft are considered theft crimes in Los Angeles. The California Penal Code also defines the following theft offenses:

  • Possession of Burglary Tools
  • Forgery
  • Mail Theft
  • Theft by False Pretenses

Burglary is also considered a serious offense according to the California Penal Code section 459 PC. There are two types of burglary: first-degree burglary and second-degree burglary, and burglary charges are severe and have severe consequences.

First-degree burglary or residential burglary is entering a residence with the intent of committing theft, and first-degree burglary is always considered a felony. Second-degree burglary or commercial burglary is entering commercial properties with the intent of stealing.

Second-degree burglary can either be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of what you stole. Auto-burglary is entering a locked vehicle to steal something inside and is considered as second-degree burglary.

For you to be convicted of your theft case, the prosecutors must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you had the intent to steal someone else’s property. Our Los Angeles theft law firm has experienced attorneys to help fight off your burglary charges and reach that not-guilty verdict.

What Are the Legal Consequences of Theft Crime Conviction in Los Angeles, California?


When the accused has been found guilty of a severe crime such as robbery or grand theft, there are many legal penalties that the courts will impose. Legal punishments vary depending on the facts surrounding any given case. It would be impossible to detail each possible scenario without writing a legal book.

Legal punishments for theft crimes will vary depending on the value of the stolen property, if you used any violence or force during the commission of the act and whether there were prior convictions for similar offenses.

We Can Devise Defense Strategies to Protect You Against Theft Crime Allegation

Whether you are an individual facing theft crime allegations or your business that has been hit with theft crime allegations, you would be well-advised to hire the Los Angeles Criminal Defense firm to build a defense strategy for you. Here are some theft crime defenses that we can use:

  • False Allegations: You were falsely accused, or the witness or victim mistook your identity.
  • No Intent: Some offenses require the intent to commit the crime. If you had no intention of committing the crime, we could get your charges reduced or dropped.
  • The Claim of Right: You reasonably believe you had the right to the stolen property. The more evidence you have to support your belief will help your defense in court.

These are a few strategies that our firm can build to help you with your theft offense case. We will tailor your legal defenses to ensure that the criminal charges against you will be dropped.

Why Choose Los Angeles Criminal Defense to Handle Your Theft Crime Charges

A criminal defense lawyer can help you understand your options by informing you about plea bargain opportunities, providing an honest evaluation of your case, collaborating on trial strategy, and assessing sentences involved if convicted.

Laws for handling theft crimes are reasonably complex and cover a wide range of circumstances. The types of charges involving theft can range from grand theft auto to petty theft, shoplifting, larceny, embezzlement, fraud, burglary, or trespassing.

Here are the reasons why you should choose our criminal defense law firm to handle your theft charges in Los Angeles:

  • An Expert Criminal Defense Team
  • A Defense made by a top 5% Criminal Law Attorney
  • Consistent track record of results
  • Over 18 years of legal experience
  • Aggressive, creative, & effective defense strategies
  • Constant Communication and Availability
  • Affordability

Los Angeles Theft Crime FAQs


Here are the most frequently asked questions about a theft crime in Los Angeles:

Theft lawyers, like all other experienced attorneys, charge hourly fees. An experienced local criminal defense attorney may range from approximately $150-$300 per hour. A lawyer qualified to practice in Federal court will typically cost more than an experienced criminal defense or bankruptcy attorney who practices primarily in state courts.

The California Penal Code states that a person who unlawfully takes property worth $950 or less, with the intent to deprive the owner of that property, is guilty of a misdemeanor. This crime is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for a term not exceeding six months.

Also, under the California Penal Code, grand theft is when you unlawfully take property worth more than $950 and can be charged with either a felony or a misdemeanor. Facing a felony charge can get you up to six years in state prison.

A misdemeanor offense can get you up to only a year in jail. If it’s your first time facing either a misdemeanor or a felony charge, contact Los Angeles theft lawyers to build your legal defenses to avoid a guilty verdict.

Sometimes criminal charges can be dropped or reduced and never appear on your criminal record. If the evidence of guilt is not strong, a criminal defense lawyer may negotiate with the prosecutor for a more favorable outcome.

For example, if you steal an item from Walmart and turn yourself in. You can say that it was another person who stole it and pointed them out. Your criminal defense lawyer may get the stealing charge dropped because he can show proof of this reasonable doubt.

Under the California penal code, the consequences for petty theft are six months in county jail or a $1,000 fine for your first offense. Under California’s Three Strikes Law, you will receive harsher consequences if it isn’t your first offense.

However, a first offense petty theft with little to no criminal record will probably end up as an informal probationary program with the court. The sentence for a First Offense Petty Theft (FTPT) is usually something like community service, probation, and maybe some fines.

Speak with a Los Angeles Theft Attorney If You’re Facing Theft Charges in Los Angeles ASAP!


A felony conviction has the possibility of changing your life. After being sent to state prison for jail time, you will have a criminal record for the rest of your life. Your record might permanently deprive you of opportunities to work and places to live.

An experienced Los Angeles theft attorney can give you the legal advice you need for your theft charges. Even if it’s a misdemeanor grand theft or many fraud crimes, you can contact us at 888-885‑8844 or fill out our online form for a free consultation.

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