If you are accused of grand theft person you are facing much more serious punishment than someone who is facing petty theft charges. The difference is tremendous. With a conviction for grand theft person you can be found guilty of a felony and serve up to 3 years in custody. A conviction for petty theft carries with it a maximum penalty of six months in custody and is a misdemeanor offense. It is critical that your criminal defense lawyer be familiar with the recent case of People vs. Getter, decided that the 3rd District Court of Appeals.
In that case, the accused took money from an ATM that a customer had accidentally left his PIN code activated on seconds before. In that the case the District Attorney sought and received a conviction against the accused for a violation of Penal Code Section 487c, grand theft person. However, the defendant appealed and argued that he did not take the property directly from the victims “person” and so the conviction had to be reduced to petty theft.
Understanding the defenses to criminal charges is a must when you are accused of a crime. It can mean the difference between spending several years in prison or receiving probation. The 3rd District Court’s decision could save thousands of people countless time in prison and jail. But only so long as their criminal defense attorney is versed on the ruling.