Under California law, theft can be classified under two categories; grand theft and petty theft. At first glance, these two categories can be confusing, but the major distinction is what was stolen and the price of the item stolen. Generally speaking, theft in California is described as any unlawful taking of someone else’s property with the intent of keeping it permanently.
Grand theft is defined as the taking of personal property of another when the property’s value exceeds nine hundred and fifty dollars. Often times, someone can be charged with grand theft even though the value of the item stolen did not exceed nine hundred and fifty dollars. In these cases, a person stealing things such as a car, a firearm, and a farm animal can be charged with grand theft, regardless if the item stolen exceeded nine hundred and fifty dollars.
On the other hand, petty theft is defined as the taking of personal property of another when the property’s value does not exceed nine hundred and fifty dollars.
The punishment for grand theft is definitely more serious. Grand theft is a “wobbler,” which means that the prosecution can charge the crime as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts and circumstances. A misdemeanor conviction of grand theft is punishable by imprisonment for up to one year in county jail and/or a fine. A felony conviction of grand theft is punishable by imprisonment for up to three years in state prison and/or a fine.
The punishment for petty theft includes imprisonment for up to six months in county jail, or a fine of up to one thousand dollars and/or a fine.
If you or a loved one is facing charges for grand theft or any other theft crime, contact our Orange County theft crime attorneys at Wallin & Klarich. Wallin & Klarich will help protect your rights and find the best defense strategy for your case. For over 30 years, our attorneys have been helping clients get probation or community service in lieu of jail time. Please call us at (888) 280-6839 or visit our website at www.wklaw.com. We will be there when you call.