Defending You When Theft Charges Threaten to Steal Your Future
Being accused of a crime you didn’t commit is a blow to your self-confidence, your reputation and your livelihood. One of the most common accusations made against another person is an allegation of theft.
When something goes missing, people often look for someone else to blame, even if they misplaced or lost the item. If you have been accused of theft in California, you need the services of a reputable and tenacious lawyer to fight your case.
What is the Legal Definition of Theft in California?
Stealing a wallet, a ballpoint pen, a car or thousands of dollars are all crimes of theft, but the laws regarding theft in California are complicated.
Under the umbrella of theft there are many layers, including the following and other crimes:
- Petty theft
- Grand theft
- Identity theft
In California, the legislation divides these crimes into two distinct areas: Petty Theft, which is a misdemeanor where if convicted you are usually subject to a fine or jail time under six months, and Grand Theft which is any theft of value exceeding $950. Grand Theft is what is referred to as a “wobbler” meaning it can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances. You are subject to a penalty that range from probation to three years in prison for a felony grand theft.
Why you need a strong defense for theft charges
The prosecution must prove their case:
- You took possession of an item, money or something of value that was owned by another individual, and you intended to take it.
- The individual did not give you permission to take the property.
- You have the property in your possession, or you moved it, sold it or disposed of it in some manner.
The lawyers at the Kavinoky Law Firm will launch a strong defense. Many people are accused of thefts that they did not commit. Sometimes there has been a mistake, such as someone walking out of a store and honestly forgetting to pay for an item, or driving away from a gas station and accidentally not paying.
A defendant may be suffering from a psychological disorder that contributes to a desire to steal. This is called an impulse control disorder, or what used to be referred to as “kleptomania.” Addiction to drugs or alcohol and even abject poverty can also be a contributing factor to this type of illegal behavior. Even the courts have to have compassion for a single mother who has stolen some food from the grocery store to feed her children.
Many theft convictions can be expunged from your criminal record, however, as more employers are conducting pre-employment background checks on potential employees, a theft conviction can be a detriment to your future opportunities, which only causes more hardship. The Kavinoky Law Firm is dedicated to making sure that you have a bright future ahead of you. We have been highly successful in negotiating for a reduction in charges or a dismissal in some cases.