Lake Tahoe Theft Lawyer

Being accused of theft is not a charge to take lightly, especially when it comes to larger offenses or felonies that could go on your permanent record. In court, having a legal team that can effectively and efficiently argue your case can be the difference between serving years and jail versus getting charged with a simple infraction. In the Lake Tahoe area, a top-tier criminal defense begins with the Law Office of Conor Bell.

What Does a Theft Crime Entail?

According to California Law, a theft charge is any seizure of property that is unlawfully obtained. Stealing from a residence, store, car, or person can all be considered theft, and all can be punishable by law. By removing the item from someone’s house or car without their prior authorization, you would be committing theft, and depending on the value of the items stolen, penalties can range in severity and length. Theft can also be the resulting charge from misappropriating money or funds that are intended for a certain purpose but not used for said purpose.

Similar to property theft, fraud charges, such as falsifying documents or identity theft, can be treated as theft charges and are subject to the same legal process as traditional theft cases. The severity of a fraud charge can range from a simple misdemeanor to a felony conviction with extended jail sentences, so finding a criminal defense team able to tackle these charges and keep you out of jail is of the utmost importance.

Lake Tahoe Theft Lawyer

Types of Theft Charges

Theft can come in various forms, but one of the biggest distinctions for theft charges is determining whether your charge is a felony or a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor charges are lesser offenses, typically resulting in smaller, less drastic penalties if convicted. On the other hand, felony charges are more serious and usually entail longer sentences and more severe penalties if convicted. Regardless of whether you are facing a misdemeanor or felony, finding a competent Lake Tahoe theft lawyer to help plead your case is the best way to deal with any of these theft charges:

  • -Petty theft. Petty theft charges, mostly shoplifting, is one of the more minor forms of theft that can result in a theft charge. According to California Law, stealing less than $950 of property is considered petty theft. Because of the small amount of property taken in, shoplifting charges typically amount to less than $950; most shoplifting charges are considered petty theft. The penalties for petty theft range from fines to jail time. However, for property theft that amounts to less than $50 of value, these charges can be reduced to an infraction. As with most charges, if charged multiple times with petty theft, the penalties for any compounding petty theft charges increase in severity.
  • -Grand theft. Grand theft charges are the result of stealing over $950 of property. Depending on the prosecution, as well as the impact that the theft of this property has had on the rightful owner, these charges can either be submitted as a misdemeanor or a felony. For misdemeanor grand theft charges, jail time can extend for up to one year, along with fines of up to $1,000. For felony grand theft convictions, sentences can reach around three years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • -Grand theft auto. Similar to grand theft, grand theft auto charges revolve around the theft of any vehicle, and charges can range from misdemeanors to felony convictions. Misdemeanor grand theft auto charges can result in up to one year in prison, along with $1,000 in fines, whereas a felony grand theft auto conviction can include up to three years in prison and $10,000 in fines. Misdemeanor and felony grand theft auto convictions carry the same penalties as typical grand theft convictions, but in the case of emergency response vehicles or vehicles specifically modified for handicapped users, your possible incarceration time can reach four years in prison.
  • -Burglary. Burglary is the intent to steal property or money from a private residence, business, or vehicle by breaking into said property to commit theft. Depending on the degree of the charge, the penalties for a burglary charge can vary. For example, first-degree burglary, which occurs when someone breaks into a residence or any other space with current occupants, can be followed by a six-year jail sentence. Other kinds of burglary, referred to as second-degree burglary, can result in sentencing that mandates one year of jail time.

Similar to being an accomplice for a bigger crime, helping someone you know commit theft can get you indicted as well. Receiving or harboring knowingly stolen property or money can also be considered theft, meaning that even though you had no direct hand in the crime, you could be charged with theft for helping someone conceal property or money obtained by theft.

What Is Proposition 47?

In California, Proposition 47 has been put into effect to reduce unnecessary convictions of petty theft-related crimes. Specifically deemed non-violent, these instances of petty theft can be reduced to misdemeanors if convicted. For example, if you previously have a felony conviction for a grand theft crime and during your conviction you did not cause any harm to any individuals, Proposition 47 can possibly get your conviction lessened from a felony to a misdemeanor. Depending on the outcome of this process, your conviction may be eligible for expungement, helping you fully move on from your prior conviction.

When to Seek the Help of a Lake Tahoe Criminal Defense Attorney

In any case regarding such a nuanced situation like theft, being able to tackle your conviction with a competent legal team is the most important part of the legal process. You need a criminal defense attorney who can take on your case and advocate for your rights. For legal services regarding theft or fraud in the Lake Tahoe area, look no further than the Law Office of Conor Bell. For more information, visit our website and contact us to schedule a consultation about your claim today.