Defending yourself against accusations of theft is a nearly impossible burden without the help of an experienced theft attorney. The Riverside theft lawyers at Wallin & Klarich understand what you are going through. You can make it through this; you just need a little help. Below we go through just a few of the defense strategies that we have employed that have allowed many of our clients to win their cases.
Punishment for Theft Crimes in California
An experienced theft defense attorney can do a great deal for you in the stages before a trial. The reason is the penalties you face for theft charges depend a lot on the prosecutor. A criminal defense attorney can attempt to have the prosecutor dismiss or reduce the charges.
For instance, if you face accusations of grand theft under California Penal Code section 487, you are accused of stealing items worth more than $950. Grand theft is a “wobbler” offense, meaning the prosecutor can charge you with a misdemeanor or a felony. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor, you face up to one year in county jail and a $1,000 fine. A felony conviction can result in a sentence between 16 months and three years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
In many cases, we have been able to have our clients’ felony grand theft matters either dismissed or reduced to a misdemeanor with no jail time having to be served.
How is Theft Prosecuted in California?
If your case goes to trial, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. To do this, they have to prove all elements of the crime. If they cannot meet this burden of proof, then the charges against you will likely be dismissed
For the most common theft offense (stealing a piece of personal property from another person), the prosecution must prove the following three elements to convict you:
- You intended to permanently deprive someone of their property;
- You “asported” the property (asported is law talk for “moved the thing”); and
- You did not have a right to the property. The circumstances and the relationship between the people can affect these elements.
We can show that you did not have the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property. In some previous cases, we have shown that our clients did not have the specific intent to steal the property. In other cases, we have raised the defense that our clients had a good faith belief that the property belonged to them.
Call a California Theft Attorney at Wallin & Klarich
The bottom line is that when you have an experienced criminal defense law firm fighting for your freedom you can relax. That is why you need to speak with an experienced theft attorney right away if you are accused of theft. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled attorneys have been successfully defending our clients accused of theft for over 30 years. We know the legal defenses to use to help you obtain the best possible result in your case.
With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.