Many individuals who are accused of petty theft may not see the dire need to hire a lawyer. Just because a theft includes the word petty doesn’t mean it’s not a big deal. While petty theft is considered to be bring up minor offenses, the legal consequences may not be “petty.” You need the best criminal defense attorney Los Angeles to guide you. If you have been charged with petty theft and maybe you were innocent, you don’t have to go through the confusing legal process alone. You have the right to have legal representation.
Understanding Petty Theft
Most of the petty theft cases occur when an individual steals, takes, or drive away someone else belonging without permission. For theft to occur, the offender should have an intention to deprive off the property from the owner permanently. Petty theft is based on a monetary scale. Meaning the value of the property stolen should not exceed a certain amount. Each state has its own rule of setting this amount. Under the California theft law, the property value should be $950 or of a smaller amount. Taking any property of value exceeding this amount is considered to be a serious crime. Some of the petty theft includes:
- Theft by larceny
- Receiving stolen property
An example would be when an individual shoplifts some items from a store.
Defense Strategies To Petty Theft Charges In California
While anyone can be charged with petty theft, there are several things the prosecutor will need to prove. With the help of a lawyer, if the below is not proven, then the offender will be entitled to a verdict of not guilty.
- The prosecutor must prove than the offender took the property
- He/she must prove this happened without the owner’s consent
- The offender must have had the intention to take away the owner’s possessions permanently.
- The offender ought to have carried away the stolen property and kept it for some time, however brief.
The above means that you should not be charged with theft if you accidentally walked off with the property. Petty theft is mostly charged with a misdemeanor. But in rare circumstances, felony charges may apply. The conviction can be up to 6 months and a fine not exceeding $1,000 or both. This is if the property value has a value of $950 or less. However, if the property value was not exceeding $50, the offense may be charged as an infraction only if the offender had no prior theft-related cases. Nonetheless, every theft case is different; your lawyer will know the strategy to use for your incident.
Why You Need A Criminal Lawyer
Being charged or accused of petty theft means that legal consequences will be applied. Thus, you may consider hiring a criminal defense attorney if such happens. Some of the so-called petty theft may lead you to serious consequences. It’s only a lawyer who has specialized in criminal cases who may give you the right legal advice.