If the property taken is less than $50 and the person charged has no other theft or theft-related conviction, the prosecutor has discretion to charge petty theft as either a misdemeanor or an infraction. An infraction, is generally punishable by a $250 fine.
If the case is charged as a misdemeanor, upon a finding of guilt the offense will be punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and possible imprisonment in county jail for a maximum of six months. Usually however the fine can be reduced and no jail time will be served by a person charged with a first time petty theft with the help of a criminal defense lawyer.
If a person has been previously convicted of a theft offense, the sentencing range can be a lot more serious. It is highly advisable to seek the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney who will be able to get you the best results.
Grand theft may be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor. If it is filed as a misdemeanor, the maximum penalty is one year in county jail. A felony grand theft charge can be punished by 16 months, two years, or three years in state prison.
When grand theft involves the theft of a firearm, the offense is a felony which is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 16 months, two years, or three years.
If you are charged with a theft crime, you need to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer who is committed to defending your rights. Whether you are charged with petty theft or grad theft, there are always options that you will need to know about. Only an experienced lawyer with a history of proven results can help you. Contact our Van Nuys theft attorneys today for a free consultation.