Criminal Defense in Orange County

Petty Theft vs. Grand Theft

grand theft vs petty theft

In California, there is a distinction between types of theft based on the cost of the stolen items. According to California Penal Code § 487, grand theft involves stealing items in excess of $950. Personal property that can be stolen can include money, labor or real property. There is an exception to this rule, however, and it involves the stealing of agricultural products.

In certain other cases, cost is irrelevant when determining whether or not a crime was grand theft or petty theft. For example, any stealing of a firearm, an automobile, certain animals or property on the physical person of another (i.e. a woman carrying a purse) is automatically considered grand theft in the state of California. These types of crimes are referred to as Grand Theft Firearm, Grand Theft Auto or Grand Theft Person, respectively.

There are a number of different ways to commit grand theft. Depending on the nature of the crime, the charges may vary. For example, grand theft by way of threatening with a deadly weapon is an aggravated felony offense. Theft crimes can include theft by way of manipulation, theft by way of an internet crime or theft by way of larceny.

In sum, petty theft is the stealing of property (by any means) which does not exceed a monetary value of $950. As is the case with grand theft, there are certain other factors that could change a typical petty theft offense to a crime of grand theft. In order to defend yourself against these charges, a criminal defense attorney can call into question the actual monetary amount of the items stolen. Your attorney may be able to prove that your charge of grand theft should actually be reduced.

Another way that an attorney can attack your charges is by way of calling into question the theft itself. Your attorney may be able to prove that the accuser actually gave you their consent to take the item or items in question. Your attorney may also be able to prove that you were the rightful owner of the property. To learn more about the possible defenses in your favor, please do not hesitate to contact an Orange County criminal attorney from our firm today.