Theft is one of the most commonly charged crimes in the area. In an effort to cut down on the number of thefts locally, law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges aggressively pursue and harshly punish these cases.

If you have been charged with stealing another person’s property, it is crucial to speak immediately with a knowledgeable Redlands theft lawyer. There is so much at stake, and your future largely depends on the outcome of your case. Our criminal defense attorneys at The Law Office of Scott D. Henry have over 40 years of combined defense experience and could fight aggressively to ensure your rights, freedom, and future are protected.

What is a Theft Crime?

California Penal Code 484 PC defines theft as taking personal property away from another individual or defrauding an individual out of money or labor. State law also constitutes theft as accessing the credit of another individual or fraudulently gaining access to an individual’s money or property. Because this definition is broad, various actions may result in someone be accused of theft. Some examples of these crimes include:

  • Burglary
  • Embezzlement or fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Extortion
  • Auto theft
  • Robbery
  • Receiving stolen property

Additionally, theft is a “wobbler” crime, which means it can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. An attorney in Redlands could assess a theft case and determine how to best build a defense based on the specific charges.

Grand Theft Auto

California Penal Code 487 PC states that an individual can be convicted of grand theft auto if the defendant took or drove a vehicle that did not belong to them and it was taken with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of it. To be charged with grand theft auto, it does not matter what means the defendant used to take the vehicle. If the keys were left in the vehicle with the doors unlocked, it is still considered a crime. This offense is typically charged as a felony and carries penalties that include substantial fines and up to three years in prison.

Penalties for Stealing Property in Redlands

Theft conviction penalties vary greatly and depend on the specifics of each crime, especially the stolen property’s value. The key factor in determining the appropriate penalties is the amount of loss caused by the alleged crime. If the loss is valued under $950, it is considered petty theft. The more serious charge of grand theft is charged when the property’s value is $950 or greater. The penalties for petty theft convictions include up to six months in jail, probation, and fines of up to $1,000. Individuals facing a conviction for grand theft may face 16 months, two years, or three years in prison as well as felony probation and fines of up to $10,000.

Legal Defenses for Theft

Several defenses are effective when fighting theft charges. Our skilled lawyers in Redlands could carefully review your theft case to determine the appropriate defense strategy. Solid arguments may include:

  • Lack of Intent
  • You had forgotten to pay or accidentally took something
  • Intoxication
  • Claim of Right or believing that the property was yours
  • You had the owner’s permission to take the property in question
  • You were an innocent bystander and was used by another to steal. (For example, the perpetrator placed an item in your purse or backpack without your knowledge.)

Most solid defenses center around intent, which must be proven by the prosecution to get a conviction. Scott D. Henry and his legal team could take a proactive and aggressive approach to your defense by determining the exact cause and nature of the alleged crime.

Speak with a Redlands Theft Attorney Today

Being charged with stealing is a frightening situation. So much is at stake, and you are likely unsure what to expect. Our team of Redlands theft lawyers understands what you are going through and could be there to guide you through the process. Our firm is dedicated to providing you with a case-specific defense strategy to help you get the result you need. Contact our office today for a free consultation with no obligation. Scott D. Henry and his team could go over your charges and explain your legal rights and options.

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