California Theft Crimes
In California “theft” is generally divided into grand theft and petty theft.
Petty Theft is the stealing of property with a value up to $950. This offense is a misdemeanor, however a second offense may be charged as a felony under Penal Code 666. Petty Theft is located in Penal Code sections 484 and 488. As discussed below, this definition of petty theft became effective in November 2014 with the passage of Proposition 47.
Grand Theft is the stealing of property valued at more than $950 and may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. See Penal Code section 487.
Grand Theft Auto is the stealing of an automobile. In California this is treated as “grand theft” if the value of automobile is more that $950, and petty theft if the value is $950.00 or less.
Grand Theft of a Firearm is always considered grand theft, regardless of the value of the gun. This offense is a felony if the firearm is more than $950 in value, and a misdemeanor if it is less.
When any of these charges are filed as felonies, probation may be granted and prison avoided.
Generally, absent a means to get the case dismissed, it is always the goal to (1) try to get a grand theft reduced to a petty theft, or (2) get any felony grand theft reduced to a misdemeanor.
Petty theft is always a misdemeanor and can often be resolved with little or no jail time.
In November 2014 California voters passed Proposition 47 which resulted in a number of felony crimes being reclassified as misdemeanors.
Not only does this effect all future criminal filings, but is also gives individuals who have been convicted of felony burglary, receiving stolen property, forgery, check fraud, or grand theft, the opportunity to have your felony sentence reduced to a misdemeanor under Proposition 47.
If you have been charged with a theft-related offense, please call Paul Tyler at (805) 889-9000. He will answer your call personally… you will not be required to go through a secretary, paralegal or associate attorney. Call for a free consultation.