A theft conviction can completely change the direction of your life as these offenses typically carry significant jail time, hefty fines, probation, and a permanent criminal record. If you are facing these charges, it is essential to seek legal representation from a reputable San Bernardino theft lawyer right away. Our skilled criminal defense attorneys at The Law Office of Scott D. Henry have earned the reputation for providing aggressive, diligent, and compassionate legal representation. That is why our attorneys are some of the most highly sought-after legal counsel in this area.

Legal Definition of Theft

California Penal Code 484 PC  defines theft as taking money or property from another person, defrauding an individual out of money or property, unlawfully accessing the credit of another person, or fraudulently gaining access to the money or property of another individual. The penalties and legal defense someone may use depend on the exact theft charge as there are many levels to this offense. A skilled attorney in San Bernardino could determine how to best handle someone’s theft case based on their specific charges.

Shoplifting Charges

Shoplifting is one of the most commonly charged theft crimes in San Bernardino County. To help reduce these offenses, law enforcement and local courts pursue these cases diligently. Shoplifting is defined by California Penal Code 459.5 PC as entering a commercial establishment such as a retail store during normal business hours with the intent to steal merchandise or other property valued under $950. It is typically charged as a misdemeanor unless the alleged offender has a criminal record containing other theft crimes or serious felony convictions. A misdemeanor shoplifting conviction carries penalties that may include up to six months in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, community service, victim restitution, theft counseling, and probation. 

Juvenile Theft Crimes

It is not uncommon for juveniles to face shoplifting, petty theft, car theft, or other stealing charges. Young individuals sometimes do not fully understand the consequences of their actions and what punishment a criminal conviction may hold. Our experienced lawyers in San Bernardino have a thorough understanding of the juvenile legal system and could provide you or your child with an effective defense strategy to help avoid a theft conviction. We could fight for a dismissal of all charges, or at a minimum, fight to have the charges reduced to a lesser charge, minimizing any penalties.

What is Burglary?

In California, burglary is divided into two categories: 1st and 2nd degree. 1st degree burglary is the more serious charge and includes “breaking and entering” into a residence or dwelling with the intent to steal money or other property. 2nd degree burglary involves burglary of any other type of structure, such as stores or businesses. Penalties vary greatly and depend on the nature of the offense, but typically include:

  • Up to one year in jail for misdemeanor 2nd degree burglary
  • Up to three years in prison for felony 2nd degree burglary
  • Up to six years in prison for 1st degree burglary
  • Substantial fines
  • Restitution to the victim(s)
  • Theft counseling
  • Community service
  • Probation

Speak with a Leading San Bernardino Theft Attorney Today

If you or a loved one are facing charges for stealing, we urge you to contact our leading San Bernardino theft lawyers as soon as possible. Our team understands all that is at stake, and that is why we are committed to zealously defending you or your loved one against these charges. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us begin fighting to protect your rights.

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