Grand Theft Attorney Los Angeles

If you or a loved one has been charged with grand theft in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California, you should immediately contact a Los Angeles Grand Theft Attorney at The H Law Group to defend you and fight for your freedom. If convicted of felony grand theft under California Penal Code (CPC) Section 487, you face a maximum of three (3) years in county jail. As such, if you’ve been arrested for or are being investigated for grand theft, you should immediately contact a Los Angeles Theft Defense Attorney to defend you and achieve the best possible outcome for you. Schedule your free consultation today by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.

What is Grand Theft?

California Penal Code Section 487 and 487(a) define grand theft as the unlawful taking of another person’s property that has a value that exceeds $950. For example, if an individual walks into a Starbucks and steals a patron’s MacBook, he may be charged with and convicted of grand theft if the MacBook costs more than $950 (most do cost over $1000). 

Also, the prosecution has the discretion to charge grand theft as either a misdemeanor or a felony. When deciding whether to charge grand theft as either a felony vs. misdemeanor, it looks at (1) the value of the property stolen, (2) the defendant’s past criminal history, (3) whether a weapon or force was used to steal the property, and (4) the sophistication required to steal the property. That said, if the property that was stolen has a value of $950 or less, the prosecution is likely to bring petty theft charges against a person.

If you’re convicted of misdemeanor grand theft, you face a maximum of one (1) year in county jail, as well as paying a fine of up to $1,000. However, if you’re convicted of felony grand theft, you face up to three (3) years in county jail, as well as a fine of up to $10,000. 

So, if you’ve been charged with California Penal Code 487 PC – Grand Theft, you should immediately contact a Los Angeles Grand Theft Lawyer to defend you and keep you from going to jail. 

Grand Theft vs. Petty Theft

The main difference between grand theft and petty theft is the value of the property that’s stolen. As previously mentioned, if the value of the property the defendant stole is $950 or less, the prosecution brings petty theft charges. However, if the value of the property stolen exceeds $950, the prosecution brings grand theft charges. 

Also, California adopted Proposition 47, which makes it a grand theft offense to steal the following items of property even if their value is below $950:

  • The defendant steals a firearm
  • The defendant stole an automobile
  • The defendant stole property from a person’s body, such as a watch, wallet, or other personal belonging on the victim’s person

For example, if the defendant steals a 1985 Honda Civic that is worth $750, he may be charged with grand theft even though the value of the automobile is under the $950 minimum to charge grand theft. The same goes for a defendant who steals a wallet that’s worth $25 from the victim’s person or body.

Penalties for a Conviction of California Penal Code Section 487 PC

California Penal Code Section 487 is a wobbler, meaning that the prosecution can charge it as either a felony or a misdemeanor. If the prosecution convicts you of felony grand theft, you face sixteen (16) months, two (2) years, or three (3) years in county jail, and a fine of up to $10,000. However, if you’re convicted of misdemeanor grand theft, you face a maximum of one (1) year in county jail, as well as a fine of up to $1000. So, whether you’ve been charged with misdemeanor grand theft or felony grand theft, you should immediately contact an LA grand theft attorney to defend you against your grand theft charges. That said, if the property that you stile is a firearm, the prosecution will only charge you with felony grand theft.

There are certain enhancements that apply to property that has a high value. For example, if the property that the defendant stole exceeds $65,000, he must serve a mandatory minimum of one year. If the property value exceeds $200,000, he must serve a mandatory minimum of two years. If the property stolen has a value that exceeds $1,300,000, the defendant faces a mandatory minimum of three years.

Defenses for Grand Theft

If you’ve been charged with grand theft, there are a variety of defenses that your attorney can use to defend you.

1) No Intent to Steal

One of the best defenses that your attorney can make to a charge of grand theft is that you lacked the intent to steal. That is, your attorney may be able to argue that you did not have the intent to steal (i.e., the intent to deprive another person of his property permanently).

For example, if you were shopping and you placed an item in your bag intending to pay for it but accidentally forgot it in your bag as you left the store, the prosecution will not be able to convict you of grand theft because you did not have the intent to steal since you mistakenly forgot the item in your bag.

So, if you’ve been charged with grand theft, contact a grand theft attorney at The H Law Group to represent you and achieve the best results for you.

2) Claim of Right

The second defense that your attorney may be able to use is that you are not guilty because you honestly and reasonably believed that the property you took was yours. The claim of right defense is only applicable if your attorney can show that you had a good faith belief that the property you took belonged to you.

3) Consent

The third defense that your attorney may be able to make depending on the facts of your case is that the party you took the property from consented to your taking of the property.

4) False Accusations

A fourth argument that your attorney can make is that you’re falsely being accused of grand theft. This often happens between business partners and others who have some sort of financial relationship with another. If this defense applies to your case, our Los Angeles grand theft attorneys will fight for your freedom. There are other defenses your grand theft lawyer can make, however, to know which defenses are applicable, you should consult with one of the criminal defense attorneys at The H Law Group.

Grand Theft Lawyer Los Angeles

If you’ve been charged with petty theft or grand theft in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California, you should immediately contact a Los Angeles Theft Attorney to represent you and fight for you. The Los Angeles theft lawyers at The H Law Group have the knowledge and the experience to best defend you against your grand theft charges. The quicker you hire us, the earlier we can begin preparing a defense strategy for your case. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.

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Act now to protect your legal rights.