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How do prosecutors deal with theft charges in California?

| Nov 6, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Although not a violent offense in most cases, theft charges still require a serious approach on the part of defendants. If they do not take steps to defend against these charges, they could face significant legal consequences.

Those that want to fight against the charges should begin exploring defense options as soon as possible. The earlier you act, the better your odds of overcoming the situation.

Is there more than one type of theft?

The state of California recognizes two main types of theft – petty and grand. The theft charges filed against you will likely depend upon the value of the goods you allegedly took.

Petty theft occurs when the defendant takes property they do not own, typically valued at less than $950. The possible penalties for a petty theft conviction include up to six months of jail time or a fine. It is also possible to face both penalties upon a conviction.

Grand theft is the more severe of the two offenses and usually involves property worth more than $950. Some theft cases involving the illegal removal of farm crops, poultry or fish (including shellfish, etc.) need not necessarily reach the $950 mark for grand theft charges to arise. If convicted for grand theft, defendants may face severe consequences, including the possibility of a jail sentence.

How can you defend against theft charges?

One of the things a prosecutor must prove in California theft cases is that the defendant intended to remove the property. If you and your counsel can prove that you had no intent, you have an excellent chance of achieving a favorable outcome.

We recommend learning more about your rights and defense options when facing theft charges in San Mateo County.