A theft conviction in the state of California can have a detrimental impact on a person’s reputation as well as their ability to obtain employment, higher education, state licensing and benefits. People who have faced theft charges are burdened with personal and professional stigma of being untrustworthy by others and assumed to be dishonest. The damage to a person’s reputation can impede the progress of their life for years, making it difficult to better themselves and achieve their long term goals.
Attorney Peter Blair has succeeded in getting charges reduced or dismissed in such cases as Petty Theft, Grand Theft, Identity Theft, Receiving Stolen Property, Burglary, Grand Theft Auto, Grand Theft Firearm, Auto Burglary and Embezzlement.
In California a theft is considered a ‘crime of moral turpitude’, an indication that a person is inherently untrustworthy.
Consequences of a crimes of moral turpitude include:
- Deportation if you are not a citizen of the United States.
- Impeaching your credibility as a witness.
- Causing you to lose your professional license such as contracting, nursing, real estate, law, medicine.
Common San Diego Theft Charges
The state of California recognizes several different classes of theft, depending on the items stolen and their net worth.
- Petty Theft: Defined by Penal Codes 484 and 488, petty theft is the theft of property valued up to $950. This is a misdemeanor, though repeated petty theft can be charged as a felony under Penal Code 666.
- Grand Theft: Defined by Penal Code 487, grand theft is theft of property valued at more than $950, and may be treated as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the situation.
- Grand Theft Auto: Any theft of an automobile counts as grand theft, even if the automobile is not worth more than $950.
- Grand Theft of a Firearm: As with automobiles, any theft of a firearm is automatically considered grand theft, regardless of its value.
- Burglary: Entering a structure with the intent to commit theft or another felony is considered burglary. If the building is a residence or ‘inhabited dwelling’ the burglary is considered ‘residential’, and counts as a strike in accordance with California’s Three Strikes Law.
- Auto Burglary: Breaking and entering into an automobile while attempting to commit grand theft auto is considered auto burglary in the state of California
- Embezzlement: Any person who attempts to steal or misappropriate goods, funds, or property entrusted to him by the rightful owner may be guilty of embezzlement
- Receiving Stolen Property: The purchase or receipt of any property that a person knows, or should reasonably know, is stolen is punishable under California law.
- Robbery: A person who uses violence, force or threats to take property from someone else’s immediate possession is guilty of robbery, which counts as a strike under the Three Strikes Law
- Carjacking: A person who uses violence, force or threats to take a vehicle from someone’s immediate possession is guilty of carjacking, which counts as a strike under California’s Three Strikes Law
Fighting a San Diego Theft Charge
It’s imperative to contact an experienced theft defense attorney as soon as possible. The earlier an experienced criminal defense attorney works on a theft case, the better the chances are of having the charges reduced or dismissed entirely. Intense scrutiny of the prosecution’s evidence may end a theft charge before it ever sees arraignment or trial, getting it dropped for lack of evidence or building the case that there is no proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
If there is sufficient evidence to file the case, negotiations with the judge and prosecution can still result in a reduction or dismissal of the charges. With an agreement to pay restitution your case can result in community service and counseling. First time offenders in particular are often granted leeway in such cases, as their behavior is more indicative of a mistake born out of desperation or unfortunate decision-making rather than a career criminal mindset.
In the event that a person has been convicted of theft, an experienced attorney can be invaluable, arguing for a reduction in custody time, probation, or a dismissal of the charge within a short period of time. If the client completes probation as per the court’s order, and is not currently charged with, on probation for, or serving time for any other offense, then the records of criminal conduct may be expunged. This will bar any person, company or other organization from using the record of the client’s conviction against them in any way. This can go a long way towards alleviating the detrimental effects of being convicted of theft.
I Can Help You Avoid the Penalties and Stigma of a Theft Conviction
At the Law Office of Peter Blair we will carefully investigate all of the information related to your case including any evidence, witness statements and video footage. We will build a defense that offers you the best chance of limiting any harm to your future.
If you or a loved one have been charged with theft, contact the Law Office of Peter Blair for a free consultation today.