The crime of theft is a rather broad one. It’s stealing. It’s taking property from another person without their permission. There are various ways in which a person can steal, and each way is its own specific crime. Just so there is no confusion, be aware that ‘larceny’ and ‘theft,’ for purposes of the California Penal Code, are the exact same thing. The term ‘theft’ is the more modern and common term used today. Read more below to find out about the differences in California Theft Laws.
California Grand Theft and Petty Theft Laws
Theft is broken down into two categories: grand theft and petty theft. Theft is considered grand theft if the value of the property or services that were wrongly taken is more than $950. There are some cases, such as some farm produce and shellfish, where it is considered grand theft if the value of those products is over $100. Any theft for property or services valued at or under $950 is considered petty theft. Petty theft with a prior theft conviction is a felony and could result in severe punishment.
Grand theft of a firearm carries with it a possible punishment of up to three years in state prison. Grand theft of anything other than a firearm carries up to a one year sentence in county jail or state prison. Grand theft auto is yet another type of theft that involves some technicalities, and certainly it requires the assistance of an expert California criminal defense attorney.
California Embezzlement Laws
The California Penal Code’s definition of embezzlement is “the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been entrusted.” Embezzlement is still charged as a theft, and the same standards regarding the value of the property that apply to grand theft and petty theft apply to embezzlement. A typical example of embezzlement would be if you gave your stock broker $10,000 and instead of him putting the money into stocks, he put it in his personal checking account. The punishment for embezzlement is the same as that which applies to general theft charges.
California Burglary Laws
Burglary is a crime that is always coupled with another crime. Burglary occurs when a person enters any house, room, apartment, shop, warehouse, store, tent, or floating home among other dwellings and storage facilities with the intent to commit petty or grand theft or to commit another felony. Therefore, one who enters a house without the intent to steal or commit a felony is not guilty of burglary. The issue of intent requires the technical knowledge of an expert criminal defense attorney.
There are two forms of burglary, burglary in the first degree and burglary in the second degree. Any burglary of an inhabited dwelling is considered burglary in the first degree, while any other burglary is of the second degree. This means that robbing a person’s home is first degree but robbing a cargo container (unless someone lives in it) is burglary of the second degree.
California Robbery Laws
Robbery is a combination of assault and theft. It is the felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another, from his or her person or immediate presence, and against his or her will, accomplished by means of force or fear.
California Forgery Laws
A person may be guilty of forgery if that person signs the name of another person on a document, without that person’s authority. The person also has to sign the document with the intent to defraud or steal. Forgery can also occur when a person makes false identification cards or other fake documents. Forgery can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor so it is very important to consult with a qualified attorney if you are charged with forgery.
Fraud is crime that requires deceit on the part of the person charged. There are all sorts of frauds, ranging from business and insurance fraud to defrauding a government agency by getting involved in worker’s compensation fraud and welfare fraud.
Identity theft is a crime that has seen some publicity of late. People have so much information floating around on the Internet that it has created an incentive for others to steal that information and use it to obtain credit, phones, or almost anything else. It takes an experienced California Identity Theft Attorney on the cutting edge of technology and California Identity Theft Law to defend a person accused of identity fraud in many cases.
California Theft Defense Lawyers
If you have been charged with a theft crime, do not hesitate to seek professional counsel from a qualified criminal defense attorney. Contact us for a case evaluation. The law is complicated and trying to tackle it on one’s own or with an attorney who has little experience could be detrimental in the long run.
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