There are many criminal acts considered as theft in the California Penal Code. The following are the crimes covered under the crime of theft:
Secs. 484 and 488 of the California Penal Code. This crime is called petty theft and is committed when property valued below $950 is stolen. This is considered as a misdemeanor offense for the first offense but a second one can be prosecuted as a felony offense under Petty Theft with a Prior or Sec 666 of the California Penal Code.
Sec 487 of the California Penal Code. This crime is called grand theft and is committed when property valued above $950 is stolen. Depending on the factual circumstances of the case as well as the accused’s criminal history, the crime can be tried either as a misdemeanor or felony offense.
Sec. 487(d)(2) of the California Penal Code. This crime is called grand theft of a firearm involves the stealing of a firearm regardless of its value. This crime is always prosecuted as a felony offense.
Sec. of the California Penal Code. This crime is called grand theft auto and is committed when an automobile is stolen. The value of the car is not a factor in the determination of the offense. This is differed from carjacking as the latter crime is committed when a vehicle is unlawfully taken from a driver or passenger.
Sec. of the California Penal Code. This crime is called burglary and is committed when an individual enters a structure with the intent of committing a felony or any kind of theft. When the structure is a home or inhabited dwelling, then the crime is termed as home invasion. Depending on the factual circumstances of the case and criminal history of the accused, the crime can be prosecuted either as a felony or misdemeanor offense.
Sec. of the California Penal Code. This crime is called embezzlement and is committed when an individual wrongfully steals or misappropriates property given in trust by the rightful owner. This crime is committed because the trust is bestowed on the holder who takes it regardless of the value of the property.
Sec. of the California Penal Code. This crime is called receipt of stolen property or fencing and is committed when an individual buys or receives stolen property with full knowledge that the same was obtained illegally.
Because Secs. 484 and 488 of the California Penal Code defines the crime of theft, this criminal act is committed through the following ways:
1) Larceny. This is done through the stealing and carrying away of the property devoid of consent from the owner. The most common form of this kind of theft is shoplifting.
2) Trickery. This is committed through the alteration, modification or change of the outer appearance of an item to devalue the property at purchase.
3) Embezzlement. This is completed when the owner is deprived of the possession of the property after its deposit with another for their care. Upon receipt, the property is misappropriated for the benefit of the current holder.
4) False Pretenses. This act is done when statements or representations are used by an individual in order to gain possession and title to items of value, such as money, labor, personal property and land.
The manner of committing theft is not a guiding factor as to the penalty for the commission of the criminal act. The threshold though is the value of the property taken. Under current law, violations of Sec. 484 and 488 of the California Penal Code is penalized with up to three years of informal probation or up to six months incarceration in a county prison facility together with payment of fines up to $1,000.
The crime of theft and any of its forms is a serious offense in California. Should you be or know anyone facing any of these charges, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.