Theft and grand theft charges often carry with them heavy penalties. While minor thefts may only have a misdemeanor punishment range, these crimes can quickly lead to heightened punishment ranges if you have a prior theft conviction. It is therefore always important to contact an experienced San Jose Theft Attorney even if you believe the conviction is minuscule in the grand scheme of things. Any conviction has the potential of turning into a felony, which can have vast repercussions on your future.
Theft crimes were one of the pinnacles of early criminal law, dating back hundreds of years ago. The key in any theft case in these early years was to prove the true owner of the property. If a victim was unable to prove that they had better title to the property than the thief had, it was difficult for these so-called “common law courts” to find in favor of the victim. Since this time, theft law has evolved to its current status.
Theft crimes and their corresponding punishment ranges depend largely on the value of the property in question, in addition to the manner in which the theft was committed. California distinguishes between several types of theft:
- Theft by larceny
- Theft by false pretense
- Theft by trick
- Theft by embezzlement
Theft by larceny must be established by proving the accused:
- Took possession of property owned by another without the owner's consent;
- Intended to permanently deprive the owner of the property; and
- Moved the property.
Theft by false pretense is established by proving the accused knowingly deceived the owner to persuade the owner to give you possession and ownership of their property. Theft by trick is fairly similar to theft by false pretense, although the prosecution must prove that you intended to deprive the owner permanently of the property.
While embezzlement is typically associated with white collar crime offenses, it is also a theft offense which occurs when a property owner entrusts property to a person, who then converts that property for their own use with the intention to deprive the true owner of the property's use.
Grand Theft vs. Petty Theft
Grand theft and petty theft are simply different terms for theft which are dependent on the range of the value of property. Grand theft is established when the value of property which was taken exceeds $50. While not every piece of property has a set numerical value, a court will determine methods to calculate the total value of the property. Grand theft is additionally established depending on the type of property. For example, if the property is a firearm or vehicle, the theft will automatically be established as grand theft. Petty theft is considered anything which does not fall within the grand theft guidelines. An experienced San Jose theft lawyer will be able to guide you in determining whether a theft offense was appropriately categorized and will assist you in determining the best defense for the crime.
Ahmed and Sukaram Law | San Jose Theft Attorney
If you have been charged with a theft offense, do not hesitate in contacting the theft attorneys of Ahmed and Sukaram. Our criminal defense attorneys have years of experience in handling various type of theft offenses. Many theft offenses make their way to courtrooms without a full understanding of all the facts of the case. Many are the result of a falling out between business partners or friends. It is important that we carefully examine all facts of your case to determine the best defense. Contact our San Jose office today for your initial free consultation.