There are many different theft crimes a person can be charged with in California. Here are some of the most common types of theft crimes we see in Riverside:
- Petty theft. This type of theft is defined as the unlawful taking of property that’s valued at $950 or less. Petty theft can result in a charge as a misdemeanor or an infraction, depending on the value of the property stolen and the prior criminal history of the accused.
- Grand theft. Grand theft is defined as the unlawful taking of property that’s valued at more than $950. Grand theft can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, and it’s influenced by how much the stolen property was worth.
- Burglary. The definition of burglary is unlawfully entering a structure and intending to carry out theft or other crime. Burglary can result in a misdemeanor or a felony charge, depending on the alleged facts of the case.
- Robbery. Robbery is defined as taking property from another person by force or fear. Robbery is always charged as a felony.
- Shoplifting. Shoplifting is defined as entering a store and intentionally taking store property unlawfully. Shoplifting can be charged as a misdemeanor or an infraction, and it is carefully evaluated on a case-by-case basis to respect the gravity of the offense.
- Identity theft. Identity theft is defined as using another person’s personal information without their permission for fraudulent purposes. Identity theft can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the alleged facts of the fraud.
- Embezzlement. Embezzlement is defined as unlawfully taking property that has been entrusted to you. Embezzlement can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, and whether it is a felony or misdemeanor is based on the value of the property that was stolen.
- Receiving stolen property. Receiving stolen property is defined as knowingly possessing, selling, or buying property that has been stolen. Receiving stolen property is often charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, and any involvement in the crime will be carefully evaluated to assess the severity of the offense.
These are just a few of the many theft crimes that a person can be charged with in Riverside, California. A Riverside theft crimes attorney can help defend you against any of these accusations by investigating the alleged facts of your case and working to disprove the prosecution’s case against you.
Common Reasons for Inaccurate Theft Charges
There are many scenarios for an individual to be inaccurately charged with a theft crime. Some of the most common reasons for inaccurate theft crime charges include:
- Mistaken identity. People might be wrongfully accused of committing a theft crime because the victim or witnesses have misidentified them. If you have been charged with theft based on mistaken identity, we can help you prove your innocence.
- False accusations. Unfortunately, false accusations are all too common in the criminal justice system. People sometimes make false accusations due to anger, revenge, or a misunderstanding. If you are falsely accused of a theft crime, we will work tirelessly to clear your name.
- Lack of evidence. In many theft crime cases, the prosecution’s case relies heavily on circumstantial evidence. This can often lead to inaccurate or unfair charges. If the prosecution does not have enough evidence to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, we will strive to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed.
- Illegal search and seizure. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects citizens from illegal searches and seizures by the government. If the police searched your home or property without a warrant or probable cause, any evidence they obtained in the search may be inadmissible in court. This could lead to the charges against you being reduced or dismissed.
- Unfair sentencing. If you are convicted of a theft crime, you could be facing significant penalties. However, the punishment you receive should fit the crime you committed. If you are facing an unfair sentence, we can help to get the sentence reduced or dismissed.
There are still more reasons beyond these why someone might be inaccurately charged with a theft crime. If you have been charged with a theft crime in Riverside, California, it is important to contact a qualified attorney who can help you defend against the charges.
What Is Grand Theft Auto?
Grand theft auto, or “carjacking,” is defined as taking another person’s car without their permission and intending to take the car away from them permanently. Grand theft auto is always charged as a felony in California and is punishable by up to four years in prison. Sometimes people are wrongfully accused of grand theft auto because they have been misidentified by the victim or witnesses. Uncovering witness misidentification is one of the many ways a qualified attorney can help you defend against grand theft auto charges.
How Do You Prove a Theft Crime Case?
To convict someone of a theft crime, the prosecution must be able to prove that the defendant had the motive and intent to deprive the victim of their property permanently. However, motive can be difficult to prove, as it requires the prosecution to show what was going through the defendant’s mind at the time of the crime. A skilled attorney can help create doubt in the jury’s mind as to whether the defendant had the malicious intent to permanently deprive the victim of their property.
Some of the other types of evidence a prosecutor might try to use to prove a theft case against you include surveillance footage, eyewitness testimony, or confessions. These forms of evidence can be unreliable, though. They can lead to instances of mistaken identity or false confessions. A qualified attorney knows exactly how to challenge this evidence and create doubt in the mind of the jury.
Tips for Defending Against a Theft Charge
If you have been charged with a theft crime, there are some ways you can help to defend yourself against the charges:
- Hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. The first and most important step in defending against a theft charge is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. An experienced attorney knows how to investigate the charges against you and can build a strong defense.
- Do not talk to the police. It is important to remember that everything you verbalize to the police can be used in court against you. If the police try to question you about the charges against you, politely decline to answer their questions and ask to speak to an attorney.
- Do not take any plea deals. If the prosecution offers you a plea deal, it is important to speak to an attorney before accepting the deal. The prosecution might offer you a plea deal because they do not have enough evidence to convict you. However, accepting a plea deal can still result in a conviction on your record.
- Be prepared for trial. You want to be ready if your case ends up going to trial. Know what to expect and be prepared to testify in your own defense.
Contact Our Riverside Theft Attorneys for Help With Your Theft Defense Case
If you have been charged with a theft crime in Riverside, California, get in touch with MySoCal Lawyers today. Our highly-skilled, experienced criminal defense attorneys will investigate the charges against you and build a defense that is best suited to your case. We pride ourselves on crafting creative and effective defenses that get results. It’s the number one cited reason why our clients continue to recommend us to their family and friends.
For more information on how we best defend our clients, contact us today. We are always standing by and ready to help another Southern Californian in need.