Contact Us for a Free Consultation (213) 542-0979

Los Angeles Petty Theft Attorney

Petty Theft in California - Penal Code 484 PC

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

The concept of larceny is basically the old Common Law talking about theft crimes.  That's how they teach it in law school.  They bring it up as larceny and it has to deal with stealing.

You take something with the intent to take it and it's not yours.  This comes up all the time where people go into stores and steal things.  Technically, it's a larceny but they really don't call it that anymore.

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

It's really a concept that has to do with stealing and stealing in today's society really 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're going to be looked at in a different way than somebody who has a clean regular. Petty theft, although not as serious as grand theft, can result in serious 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 his or her 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 of time that the owner would be deprived of a major portion of the value or enjoyment of the property; AND
  • The defendant moved the property, even a small distance, and kept it for any period of time, 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 with some sort of a lesser offense and try to get you a diversionary program.  In other words, either try and 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 for the first twenty years plus, theft crimes are really treated harshly in Los Angeles county.  So, if you had a larceny, grand theft, petty theft or an embezzlement charge, you were going to get a conviction.  It was going to go on your record and you were going to be punished and put on probation.

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

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

But, if on the other hand, the government has the goods on you, then obviously you're going to want to try to work out some sort of a resolution where you can minimize the damage to your reputation, your record and to 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 what the best strategy is for your in 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 really apply to your case.  I don't see how that benefits you in any way.

Discussing a Strategy Against Your Larceny Case

You need information that applies specifically 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 think 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 having the pieces of the puzzle from you in the case, it makes it real difficult to give you accurate information about what you're truly facing.

The be convicted of this theft crime, the People must prove that you had the intent to take without consent and deprive permanently beyond a reasonable doubt.

A conviction can result in 2-3 years in prison and that is why it is imperative that you hire an attorney to get on board. At the Hedding Law Firm, we are confident in our skills and our reputation and credentials speak for themselves.