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Los Angeles Petty Theft Attorney

Petty Theft in California - Penal Code 484 PC

Suppose you have taken someone else's property without the owner's consent with the intent to deprive permanently and have been charged with theft. In that case, you need to contact our Los Angeles larceny lawyers to get your matter under control.

The concept of stealing is the old Common Law about theft crimes.  That's how they teach it in law school.  They bring it up as theft, which deals with stealing.

You take something intending to take it, and it's not yours.  This always comes up when people go into stores and steal things.  Technically, it's a robbery, but they don't call it that anymore.

Larceny is a big crime again from the old Common Law, but now, they're calling it grand theft, petty theft, or embezzlement.  In my opinion, all these things fall under the umbrella of theft.

It's a concept that has to do with stealing, and stealing in today's society gives a person a stigma.  If you get a conviction for a theft-related offense and somebody sees that when you try to get a job or any other kind of benefits, you will be looked at differently than somebody who has a clean regular. Although not as severe as grand theft, petty theft can result in severe penalties.

California Penal Code 484 says, (a) Every person who shall feloniously steal, take, carry, lead, or drive away the personal property of another, or who shall fraudulently appropriate property which has been entrusted to them, or who shall knowingly and by any false or fraudulent representation or pretense, defraud any other person of money, labor or real or personal property, or who causes or procures others to report falsely of their wealth or mercantile character and by thus imposing upon any person, obtains credit and thereby fraudulently gets or obtains possession of money, or property or obtains the labor or service of another, is guilty of theft.

To prove that the defendant is guilty, it must be proven that:

  • The defendant took possession of property owned by someone else;
  • The defendant took the property without the owner's consent;
  • When the defendant took the property, they intended to deprive the owner of it permanently or to remove it from the owner's possession for so extended a period that the owner would be deprived of a significant portion of the value or enjoyment of the property; AND
  • The defendant moved the property, even a tiny distance, and kept it for any period, however brief.

Seeking Lesser Offense or Diversion Program

So obviously, one of the big things that we try to do, if possible, in these larceny/theft cases is to set things up to get the case removed from your record, or at least minimize it with some sort of a lesser offense and try to get you a diversionary program.  In other words, try to avoid the conviction or set things up to get the minimal possible negative connotation on your record when somebody runs your criminal record.

I've been doing this for twenty-five years, and theft crimes have been treated harshly in Los Angeles County for the first twenty years.  So, you would get a conviction if you had a robbery, grand theft, petty theft, or an embezzlement charge.  It would go on your record, and you would be punished and put on probation.

In some respects, it is still that way, depending on what happened in your case.  But in other regards, especially for first-time offenders, there are ways to get programs and diversionary resolutions to a point where you can avoid a conviction.  A lot of times, we can delete your record.

If you have a situation where you're innocent and will take the case to trial, these programs don't matter as much to you.

But, if, on the other hand, the government has the goods on you, then obviously, you're going to try to work out some resolution to minimize the damage to your reputation, your record, and your potential freedom.

So, that's what we try to do.  Right from the beginning, I have you come in, and we think about and look at the best strategy for your situation — your particular circumstances.

I hate it when you call up lawyers and a staff answers or the lawyer answers, and they start telling you about all these things that don't apply to your case.  I don't see how that benefits you in any way.

Discussing a Strategy Against Your Larceny Case

I just wanted to let you know that you need information that applies to your case.  That's why we get you in, we sit down, we go over everything, and then through experience and knowing the local courts in Los Angeles, if you've got a larceny case, if you have a prior record or a clean record, we can start thinking about how we are going to resolve this thing.

What's the strategy going to be?  What are you up against?  What are you looking at? Of course, that makes sense.  Without the pieces of the puzzle from you in the case, it isn't easy to give you accurate information about what you're truly facing.

To be convicted of this theft crime, the People must prove that they intended to take without consent and deprive permanently beyond a reasonable doubt.

A conviction can result in 2-3 years in prison, so you must hire an attorney to get on board. We are confident in our skills at the Hedding Law Firm, and our reputation and credentials speak for themselves. 

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