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Theft Lawyers Explain California Penal Code 484 PC

Do You Need to Hire a California Theft Attorney?

Theft is a serious crime in California. Upon conviction, you could be sentenced to as many as 3 years in state prison. If you have been charged with theft in California, you need to hire an experienced theft attorney.

The theft attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience successfully defending those charged with grand and petty theft. Call us today at (877) 466-5245 to receive expert legal advice about your case. Be sure to read on to learn more about California theft laws so that you can be fully informed about the charges you are facing.

Why Hire Wallin & Klarich?

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The success of our theft defense firm has helped us achieve the highest of merits, including a 5 out of 5 AV rating on Lawyers.com, a 10 out of 10 rating on AVVO.com, and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

For over 30 years, the theft lawyers at Wallin & Klarich have helped many people like you who have been charged with this crime. Here are just a few testimonials provided by some of our previous clients who wanted to share their stories:

“After extensive negotiations with the prosecutor, my Wallin & Klarich attorney was able to get the grand theft and petty theft charges against me DISMISSED. I was very relieved and grateful I did not have to report to custody or complete any Shoplifter’s education courses. In addition, my Wallin & Klarich attorney was able to avoid any “admission to guilt” so I will not be deported and there will be no negative immigration and naturalization consequences. Thank you  Wallin & Klarich, from the bottom of my heart.”

-WZ

“I was arrested and charged with felony grand theft and embezzlement. I was caught stealing over $3,000 in cash from my employer. I was referred to my Wallin & Klarich attorney. After meeting with him, my family and I understood the charges against me, the potential consequences, and our approach moving forward to minimize the consequences of my conduct. My Wallin & Klarich attorney aggressively advocated on my behalf in court with the Judge and Prosecutors.

First, my Wallin & Klarich attorney was able to negotiate a REDUCTION OF CHARGES from two felony charges down to one misdemeanor charge. Then my Wallin & Klarich attorney met with the Judge and worked out a deal where I would complete community service and ALL CHARGES AGAINST ME WOULD BE DROPPED AND DISMISSED.

This allowed me to stay out of jail and avoid any felony or misdemeanor criminal conviction on my record. Thank you Wallin & Klarich for protecting my rights, my freedom, and my future.”

-N. E.

“Hello,

I am writing this letter to tell that one of your lawyers did a great job. This was a petty theft case for my husband which was taken care of  by my Wallin & Klarich attorney.

The whole case was dismissed. And now my husband doesn’t have any criminal record and we can keep forward with our Canadian Immigration case.

Me and my husband feel very grateful and appreciate all the job my Wallin & Klarich attorney did.

I should add that unlike other lawyers my Wallin & Klarich attorney and his assistant were always available on the phone and were answering all my questions. After this type of experience I got a lesson that the best thing is to deal with a big and well known agency than with a small office one-person company.”

-K. R.

Call Wallin & Klarich Today

You can place your trust in Wallin & Klarich. Our knowledgeable California theft defense lawyers are committed to defending your rights and your freedom. Call us today for immediate help on your case.

For more information on theft laws, read below or simply pick up the phone and speak to one of our skilled attorneys today.

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free telephone consultation.


What are Theft Crimes under California Law?

Under California Penal Code 484 PC, it is illegal to take someone else’s property with the intent to keep it permanently. Our theft attorneys at Wallin & Klarich explain the four types of theft crimes in California that can result in criminal liability under Penal Code 484 PC:

  1. Theft crimes by larceny
  2. Theft crimes by false pretense
  3. Theft crimes by trick and
  4. Theft crimes by embezzlement

The theft offense committed will be classified as either theft by larceny, false pretense, trick or embezzlement based on the way in which the property was acquired. However, the four types of offenses are charged as theft crimes under California Penal Code section 488. Therefore, the prosecution only needs to prove that you committed at least one of these prohibited acts in order to convict you of theft. The property protected by this section includes real and personal property, money and services. Speak to an experienced theft attorney at Wallin & Klarich today for more information.

Theft by larceny

Under California Penal Code 484 PC, any person who feloniously steals, takes, carries, leads or drives away the personal property of another is guilty of theft by larceny. In order to convict you of this theft offense, the prosecution must prove the following:

  1. You took possession of property owned by someone else  AND
  2. You took the property without the owner’s consent  AND
  3. When you took the property, you intended to deprive the owner permanently of the object or to remove it from the owner’s possession for so extended a period of time that the owner would be deprived of a major portion of the value or enjoyment of the property  AND
  4. You moved the property, even a small distance, and kept it for any period of time, however brief

Theft by false pretense

California Theft Crimes - PC 484

Under California Penal Code 484 PC, any person who knowingly and designedly, by any false or fraudulent representation or pretense, defrauds another to obtain title to money, labor, or real personal property is guilty of theft by false pretense. In order to convict you of this offense, the prosecution must prove the following:

1. You knowingly and intentionally deceived a property owner by false or fraudulent representation or pretense  AND

2. You did so intending to persuade the owner to let you take possession and ownership of the property  AND

3. The owner let you take possession and ownership of the property because the owner relied on the representation of pretense

Theft by trick

Under California Penal Code 484 PC, any person who uses fraud or deceit to obtain possession of money, labor, or real personal property is guilty of theft by trick. In order to convict you of this theft crime in California, the prosecution must prove the following:

  1. You obtained property you knew was owned by someone else  AND
  2. The property owner consented to your possession of the property because you used fraud or deceit  AND
  3. When you obtained the property, you intended to deprive the owner permanently of the property or to remove it from the owner’s possession for so extended a period of time that the owner would be deprived of a major portion of the value or enjoyment of the property  AND
  4. You kept the property for any length of time  AND
  5. The owner did not intend to transfer ownership of the property

Theft by embezzlement

Under California Penal Code 484 PC, any person who fraudulently appropriates property which has been entrusted to him or her is guilty of theft by embezzlement. In order to convict you of this offense, the prosecution must prove the following:

  1. An owner of property (or the owner’s agent) entrusted his or her property to you  AND
  2. The owner (or the owner’s agent) did so because he or she trusted you  AND
  3. You fraudulently converted or used that property for your own benefit  AND
  4. When you converted or used the property, you intended to deprive the owner of its use

Grand theft vs. petty theft

Theft crimes are charged as either grand theft or petty theft depending upon the value and character of the item taken. Under California Penal Code 487 PC, your theft offense will be charged as grand theft if the value of money, labor, or real or personal property taken exceeds $950. The property’s value is determined by its present market value at the time of the offense (when it was taken). The offense will also be charged as grand theft if the character of the property falls within a prohibited category, regardless of its value at the time it was taken. You will be charged with grand theft if the type property taken is a firearm, a farm animal, automobile or if the property is taken from the person of another. All other theft crimes where the value of the property does not exceed $950 or the property does not fall within a prohibited category will be charged as petty theft. Speak to an experienced theft attorney at Wallin & Klarich to receive immediate assistance and answers to all your questions pertinent to the specific facts of your theft case.

Sentencing and Punishment for a Penal Code 484 PC Conviction

punishment for theft

The punishment and sentencing for theft crimes is determined by whether the offense is charged as grand theft or petty theft under California Penal Code 487 PC and 488 PC. Grand theft is considered a “wobbler” in California, which means it can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor depending on the circumstances of your case and your previous criminal history.

If you are convicted of misdemeanor grand theft, you face up to a year in county jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. If you are convicted of felony grand theft, you face a sentence of 16 months, two or three years in county jail and maximum fine of $10,000. In addition, there are several enhancements that increase your punishment beyond this range. If you are convicted of petty theft, you face up to six months in county jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.

Our theft attorneys answer the most frequently asked questions on theft crimes

To help you understand the various aspects of theft laws under California Penal Code 484 PC, our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have provided answers to some of the most commonly asked questions in our FAQs section. There, you can find answers to questions such as:

  • What is the difference between theft by false pretenses and theft by trick?
  • What if I thought the item I took actually belonged to me?
  • Can I still be charged with theft even if I returned the property to the owner?

Where can I find the most experienced California theft lawyers?

partners 2015 - Theft laws - 484 PC

If you have been charged with theft under California Penal Code 484 PC, it is essential that you contact criminal defense lawyers who are experienced with theft crime cases. With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Los Angeles, Ventura, Victorville and West Covina, our theft attorneys have successfully represented clients facing theft charges for over 30 years. We have the knowledge and the know-how to win your case.

Let us help you today. Call (877) 4-NO-JAIL (466-5245) or fill out our confidential form. We will be there when you call.

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California DUI Defense Lawyer Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee. Please contact a criminal attorney for a consultation on your particular legal matter. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the state of California. * Wallin & Klarich Attorney Joshua Visco