Theft Crimes

Theft Crimes Attorney San Diego

Under California law, a theft crime is defined as the unauthorized taking of someone else’s money or personal property. Theft crime charges can either be felonies or misdemeanors, depending on the value of the property in question.

Having the right legal representation when facing theft charges in the San Diego area can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Joanne P. Sanchez and Lisbette J. Baltazar are experienced attorneys at SB Legal, helping defendants navigate the with confidence.

We create tailored legal strategies for each client. Whether a plea agreement makes the most sense or taking a case to trial will best serve a client’s needs, we work tirelessly. We are committed to fighting for the best possible outcome based on all underlying facts and circumstances. As criminal defense attorneys, we are well versed in California’s criminal laws, and we are proud of our firm’s reputation as the theft crimes attorney San Diego defendants want by their side.

The first step in fighting theft crime charges in the San Diego area is scheduling a free consultation with an attorney at SB Legal. During your consultation, we will help you understand the charges and your options, listen to your concerns, and answer your questions to the best of our ability. When you retain our firm to represent you, we will work closely with you to craft and implement a legal strategy designed to protect your rights and interests.  

theft crimes, window, broke, glass, san diego theft crimes attorney, theft crimes, petty theft, stolen property, grand theft auto, grand theft

Understanding Theft Crime Charges

To be successful in convicting someone of a theft crime in California, the prosecution must prove that the defendant took someone else’s property without permission and that the defendant intended to permanently deprive the rightful owner of the stolen property. Prosecutors may seek to prove intent to steal using actual or circumstantial evidence, including situations where a defendant was caught trying to hide or sell stolen property. 

Depending on the value of the allegedly stolen property, a theft crime can be classified as either “petty theft” or “grand theft.” If the value of the wrongfully taken or stolen property was $950 or less, a defendant will typically face petty theft (misdemeanor) charges. This is defined under California Penal Code § 484(a). For property valued at greater than $950, a defendant will usually face grand theft (felony) charges, which are more serious. Such crimes are under the California Penal Code Section 487.

Having a skilled legal advocate in your corner is critical, whether you are facing petty theft or grand theft charges. Your San Diego theft crimes lawyer will review and analyze the specifics of your case, help you understand the nature of the charges against you, and outline the available defenses to those charges.

Understanding Burglary Charges

While it involves theft, burglary is a different and more serious offense. It is defined as the unlawful or unauthorized entry into a structure or property with the intent to commit a crime. Even if the intended crime is not carried out, the act of unlawfully entering the premises with criminal intent constitutes burglary.

A burglary attorney plays a crucial role for both defendants and victims by providing legal counsel and representation. The experienced burglary lawyers here at SB Legal leverage their extensive knowledge of criminal law to protect the rights and interests of their clients in all types of burglary cases.

San Diego Theft Crime Penalties

Specific consequences of theft crimes vary from case to case, depending largely on the value of the stolen property and the circumstances of the crime. However, it is safe to say that criminal convictions on any type of theft crime charges can be serious, including time spent behind bars, monetary penalties, and more. If you are convicted of a theft crime, that conviction can impact you for years to come.

While no San Diego criminal defense lawyer cannot guarantee acquittal, having a knowledgeable, seasoned legal advocate representing you can give you peace of mind, knowing that your lawyer is doing everything in their power to protect your rights — and your freedom.  

Whether you were charged with the theft of money, jewelry, a motor vehicle, or other personal property, you need an experienced SB Legal attorney on your side. Your lawyer will be able to understand the legal nuances and identify potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, which could be used to your advantage in your defense case.

Petty Theft Crimes in San Diego

Facing petty theft charges in San Diego entails dealing with a misdemeanor offense. Misdemeanor charges for petty theft are punishable by up to six months in jail. However, individuals with no prior felony convictions may be eligible for probation and participation in a diversion program.

Diversion programs represent an alternative to traditional sentencing. In these programs, individuals must complete specific tasks, such as community service or attending classes. Successfully completing the diversion program leads to the dismissal of charges, sparing individuals from acquiring a criminal record.

Grand Theft Crimes in San Diego

Being charged with grand theft in San Diego elevates the severity of the offense to a felony. Felony charges for this crime can result in significant penalties, including 16 months, two years, or three years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Convicted individuals may also be required to register as criminal offenders, adding additional consequences. This is why a San Diego theft crimes lawyer is beneficial to have by your side if you’re involved in this situation.

Theft Crime Defenses in San Diego

Defending against theft charges in San Diego requires a strategic approach, considering that theft is a wobbler offense, meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The determination of the charge’s severity hinges on the value of the property stolen. Engaging the services of an experienced attorney specializing in theft crimes, such as a San Diego theft crimes attorney from SB Legal Law Firm, is crucial to building a robust defense and safeguarding your rights.

Several defenses can be employed when facing theft charges in San Diego:

  1. No Intent to Steal: One common defense is asserting that there was no intention to deprive someone of their property permanently. For instance, you may not be convicted of theft if you borrowed an item without asking and failed to return it. Demonstrating the absence of intent is a nuanced aspect of the defense strategy.
  2. Good Faith Belief of Ownership: If you genuinely believed that the property in question belonged to you, it can serve as a defense against theft charges. For instance, if you mistakenly picked up a jacket, genuinely thinking it was yours, but later discovered it belonged to someone else, you might not be charged with theft.
  3. Property Stolen by Another: A compelling defense is asserting that someone else stole the property in question. If you can establish that you were not the one who committed the theft, this defense can be instrumental in challenging the charges.
  4. Falsely Accused: Unfortunately, false accusations of theft can occur. If you believe you have been wrongfully accused, seeking the expertise of an experienced attorney is crucial. A skilled theft crime or burglary attorney can help you navigate legal proceedings, gather evidence, and work towards clearing your name.

San Diego Experienced Lawyers on Theft Charges

After being charged with a San Diego theft crime, contact the SB Legal Firm so that we can help you take on your case. SB Legal Firm is located in the San Diego area and can help you avoid prison time. 

You do not want to take on any criminal charges alone. Discover for yourself why SB Legal is the theft crimes attorney San Diego defendants choose when they need representation. We will review your case and advise you on the best course of action. Call us at (760) 302-4652 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Let us help you.

Request Free Consultation

Need help with criminal defense? Contact us today.

Practice Areas