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Types of Theft Crimes in California

Theft crime is somewhat of an umbrella term that refers to a number of different types of illegal activity involving removing property from the possession of the owner without their consent. It can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances. Below are the different forms of theft crimes, and if you are faced with allegations of committing these or another crime, we recommend that you contact our office.

Petty Theft is the lesser of the theft crimes. This may be shoplifting or another illegal action that involves taking property that is under the value of $950. It can be found under Penal Code 484 and 488, considered as a misdemeanor. In the even that it is a charge for Petty Theft with Prior then the charge may be raised to a felony.

Found in Penal Code 487, Grand Theft involves taking property that is over the value of $950 and is considered to be a wobbler charge, meaning it can be both a misdemeanor or felony. If a firearm is used in the crime, then it can be raised to a felony.

Carjacking is when a vehicle is stolen and includes using fear or force to take it. Auto burglary involves breaking in to the vehicle for the purpose of stealing. Grand Theft Auto in the state means that all vehicles taken are considered "grand theft" even if the property value is low.

Burglary is when a structure is entered or remained in past the intended time for the purpose of committing a felony or theft within the structure. When the structure includes an "inhabited dwelling" then then the offense may lead to a strike. When property is purchased that is known to be stolen, even if the person purchasing it didn't do the stealing, a charge can still be made since they were aware of the circumstances. Robbery involves the use of threats, force and violence in order to take property. It is considered to be a strike on a criminal record.

Embezzlement is a crime that includes taking or misappropriating property that was originally entrusted by the owner of it. While there was a right to the property originally, the intentions for how it would be handled were violated and therefore turn it into illegal activity.

There are many instances where a charge is incorrectly made or the charges are higher than what they should be. Many times the accusations can be effectively fought to have them reduced or dropped. Turn to The Law Offices of Matthew Cargal for a free consultation with a Pasadena criminal attorney if you are accused of a theft crime.