Theft Crimes Attorney

Being convicted of a theft crime can bring forth different ramifications depending on the type of theft crime it is. According to the California Penal Code, “Every person who shall feloniously steal, take, carry, lead, or drive away the personal property of another, or who shall fraudulently appropriate property which has been entrusted to him or her … or obtains possession of money, or property or obtains the labor or service of another, is guilty of theft” As you can see, theft crimes can get complicated when considering all the different types of ways that property can be taken from one another.

The main two categorizations of theft crimes are petty theft and grand larceny/theft. Petty theft is the stealing of property or money that equates to $950 or less. Examples of petty theft can include shoplifting, dining and dashing, switching the price tag of items so that you pay less, etc. Since petty theft crimes such as these seem to happen in West Hollywood on a day-to-day basis. Yet, the penalties can be severe. If convicted for petty theft, you could face up to 6 months in prison and/or up to $1,000 in fines. Grand theft, on the other hand, has much greater consequences. Grand theft is defined as someone stealing property that is valued greater than $950. Of course, the degrees of grand theft as well as the penalties that correspond with the conviction will depend on the value of the property stolen. If you are convicted of grand theft of $10,000 or greater, you could be sentenced to years in prison with astronomical fines. In either case, it is essential that you seek the legal guidance of an experienced theft crimes attorney in West Hollywood.

Burglary vs. Robbery vs. Extortion

Another layer of complexity that is involved with theft crimes is the distinction between burglary and robbery crimes. In everyday language they are used interchangeably; however, California law provides distinguishing elements that separates these two crimes from one another. Theft, which usually involves stealing money or property without one on one person involvement, robbery does. Robbery is defined as taking money or property from a person that involves force, intimidation, or coercion. For instance, if an individual is walking down the street at night when a stranger approached them, hurts them or threatens to hurt them, and then takes their property and money, they can consider themselves robbed. Burglary, however, does not require the one on one person interaction. In fact, burglary involves an individual break and entering with the intention to steal. This can mean when a stranger comes into a home when it’s empty and takes all the property and money within the home. Extortion, similar to robbery, is threatening an individual in order to take their money and property. However, the difference between robbery and extortion is that extortion requires the victim to consent having their property taken from beyond their immediate vicinity. In other words, extortion is blackmail. Since an extortion conviction can result in up to 4 years in jail with up to $10,000 in fines; it is crucial to seek the counsel to create the best extortion charges defense possible.

No matter what theft crime you have been accused of, it is important to know that you do not have to face these accusations alone. With the aid of the Law Office of Mark Daniel Melnick, you can rest assured that you will have the best representation in West Hollywood.