November 20, 2013 By Wallin & Klarich

In Riverside County, there have been 1,252 reports of automobile theft so far this year. In addition, there have been over 5,000 reports of other theft incidents in the county.1 In California, theft is defined as the unlawful taking of someone else’s property with the intent to steal. Under California Penal Code section 487, your theft charge can be elevated to a “grand theft” charge in Riverside County if one of three conditions existed:

  • The incident involved theft of an automobile or firearm;
  • The property stolen is valued at more than $950; OR
  • The property was stolen directly off of the property owner.

If you are facing a grand theft charge, you should contact our office immediately in order to avoid some of the harsh penalties associated with a conviction.

If Convicted of Grand Theft, What Consequences do I Face?


  • A Lengthy Jail Sentence: Grand theft is known as a “wobbler” offense, which means the prosecutor has the discretion to file it as a misdemeanor or felony depending on your criminal history and the circumstances surrounding your case. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor grand theft charge, you face up to a year in county jail. However, if convicted of felony grand theft, you face a sentence of 16 months, two or three years in county jail.In addition, there are other factors that could substantially enhance the length of your sentence. The criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are experienced in these enhancement provisions, and we will fight for you to ensure that you serve the shortest sentence possible if you are convicted.
  • Substantial Fines: A misdemeanor grand theft conviction carries a maximum fine of $1,000. However, a felony grand theft conviction could result in a fine up to $10,000.
  • Possible Impacts on Your Residency Status: Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), legal residents of the United States can face deportation proceedings if they are convicted of certain offenses. If you are convicted of grand theft, it is likely that the conviction will be characterized as an “aggravated felony” under the INA, and you might be deportable with limited removal relief.Furthermore, other theft convictions could be characterized as “crimes of moral turpitude,” which are deportable offenses under US immigration laws. In order to avoid these harsh consequences, it is extremely important that you consult with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys immediately.
  • Impact on Professional Licenses and Employment Opportunities: Depending upon your professional field, you could be facing possible professional sanctions or the loss of professional licenses.
  • Limited Job Opportunities: Certain convictions may need to be disclosed on future job applications, limiting your ability to pursue certain opportunities. In today’s job market, employers can choose between many highly qualified candidates. If you have a theft conviction on your record, it is highly unlikely you would be selected for employment among other qualified candidates. At Wallin & Klarich, we can help you avoid these consequences, providing you with greater professional and financial flexibility for the future.

Finding an Experienced Attorney at Wallin & Klarich

A grand theft conviction in Riverside County can be a potentially life-changing event. If you or someone you know has been accused of a theft offense, it is imperative that you contact an experienced defense attorney who will carefully review the facts and law in order to give you the best representation possible. Wallin & Klarich has over 30 years of experience defending our clients against theft charges. Our attorneys truly understand the law, and we can help navigate this complicated process for you. Even if our attorneys cannot get your charges dismissed, we can work with state prosecutors to have your charges lowered and reduced. We will fight for your freedom through every step of the process
Our offices are located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, Victorville, Torrance and Sherman Oaks. Give us a call today at (888) 280-6839. We will be there when you call.

1. [Current Crime Statistics, Riverside Police Department.]

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