San Diego Theft Lawyer

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Dealing with a Theft Case

There are many law code sections that cover the array of theft cases in California, both felony and misdemeanor, including:

Penal Code section 487(d)(1) - Grand Theft Auto

When someone steals a vehicle and does not intend to return it or leave it somewhere to be found.

Vehicle Code section 10851 – Joyriding

When someone takes a vehicle without the owner’s permission to go joy riding.

Penal Code section 487 – Grand Theft

When someone takes money, labor or property worth over $950.00; or, when someone takes farm materials, oceanic materials, or agricultural materials worth over $250.00.

Penal Code section 211- Robbery

(Also called grand theft person) When property is taken from a person. Depending on the value of the property, it can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony.

Penal Code section 476 – Passing Bad Checks

When someone uses a check to make a purchase or pay a debt when they know there is not enough money in the account or when they know it is not a valid check. Depending on the amount of check(s), this also can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony.

Penal Code section 484 – Theft by Fraud

When someone uses fraud or deceit to get money, labor, or property they were not entitled to.

Penal Code section 459 – Burglary

When someone enters any sort of structure with the intention of stealing something. If the structure entered is a home, it is a first-degree burglary felony charge, but if it is any other structure it is a second-degree burglary misdemeanor charge.

Penal Code section 459.5 – Shoplifting

When someone takes something from a store or business without paying.

Fighting the Case at Trial

Fighting a theft case at trial takes an experienced criminal defense lawyer that can explore issues such as:

· Whether you are actually the person who stole something or whether you just happen to come into possession of it innocently.

· Whether you had a right to the item at issue or whether you thought you had a right to it.

· The value of the property at issue.

Negotiating a Plea Deal

When the evidence is overwhelming, and the case does not seem winnable, many potential clients want to "fall on the sword.” Attorney Jon Pettis says that this, “is absolutely not what they should do. You need to find an experienced lawyer to negotiate with the prosecutor to get you the best result. Good lawyers will work with you to avoid getting a strike, to avoid you going to prison or jail, to get your felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor, and a whole host of other issues that can make the outcome of your case much better.” If the prosecutor is unwilling to agree to a plea agreement that works for you, SDD lawyers often approach the judge to try and work out something with him/her. "Tactics," Supervising Attorney Daniel Smith says, "is something that my father (a 20-year trial judge) often discussed in difficult cases." It is critical that your lawyer be familiar with the judge to know what arguments work best for your situation and what type of factors will appeal to each judge. “And that,” says SDD's Daniel Smith, “is straight from a judge's lips!" There are many ways to get your client where he or she needs to go in order to save their livelihood and future – the real challenge is adapting the ways to best fit each case.