Sec 487(d)(2) of the California Penal Code specifically applies to property, money or other things that are taken unlawfully should the value of the property would not exceed $950. While this is the general rule, taking of the firearm is one that elevates the criminal offense to grand theft regardless of the actual value of the firearm.

This crime is also known as grand theft firearm or GTF and is always prosecuted as a felony offense. Thus the imposable penalty is between sixteen months or two or three years in state prison. A further enhancement would be the counting of each conviction as a strike under the Three Strikes Law of California.

The crime of grand theft of firearms is a serious matter 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.

Hate Crime in California

Under California law, a hate crime is committed when the crime of violence or vandalism done on another person for any of the following reasons:
• Disability, be it physical or mental in nature;
• Gender or deviation from standardized norms of gender;
• Nationality;
• Race or ethnicity;
• Religion;
• Sexual orientation;

The common crimes committed because of the aforementioned are as follows:
• Vandalism;
• Assault;
• Threats;
• Harassment;

Hate crime penalties are sentence enhancements, meaning when the crime of violence is motivated by hate, then the imposable penalty is increased. The purpose of the crime is to provoke retaliation, infliction of emotional harm and incitement for unrest.

There are two options when prosecuting this crime. The first option is to charge the accused as a hate crime. The second option would be trying the case for the violent crime and using the factor of hate as a sentence enhancement.

The following circumstances need to be proven to upgrade the violent crime, often a misdemeanor, into a felony offense.
• The crime was motivated by a bias against the victim’s physical or other characteristics;
• The intention for the commission of the act was the deprivation of Constitutional rights;
• The accused is able to commit a violent act and harm was actually done on the victim;
• If property was damaged by the violent crime, the value of damage exceeds $950.00;
• There was a previous conviction for conspiracy to commit or actual commission of a hate crime.

When upgraded to a felony offense, the hate crime’s penalties are:
• Incarceration of three years in state penitentiary;
• Payment of fine amounting to $10,000.

The use of a hate crime as sentencing enhancement increases the imposable penalty. Even the act of spreading or propagating bias would be considered as the crime itself would add on three years in state penitentiary as penalty. There are other factors that increase the penalty:

• Personal commission of the offense;
• Abetting or aiding the commission of the offense.

These factors increase the imposable penalty by four more years in state prison.

The commission of a hate crime is a serious matter 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.