California Petty Theft Charges

Stockton & Fresno Petty Theft Criminal Defense Attorney

One of the most common offenses prosecuted in California courts is petty theft, as it is referred to under California Penal Code Sections 484 and 488. The reason is that shopping stores are painfully aware of the financial consequences of shoplifting on business. The consequences of a petty theft conviction can be significant. If you or a loved one has been charged with petty theft, it is imperative to immediately consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and avoid a conviction.

The Srai Law Office provides aggressive legal representation for petty theft offenses. Contact attorney Gurjit Srai for expert advice and resourceful legal services that can effectively help you avoid the negative and harsh consequences of a petty theft conviction.

What Is California Petty Theft Crime?

Theft is legally defined as the unlawful or illegal taking of another person’s property with the intent to steal the property. California laws distinguish between petty theft and grand theft. Petty theft is codified in California Penal Code Sections 484 and 488.

Petty theft is distinguished from grand theft by the value of the property stolen and the resulting punishment if convicted. To be considered petty theft, the property that is stolen must not exceed $950. If the value of the stolen property exceeds $950, the crime is classified as grand theft. Petty theft is generally charged as a misdemeanor, although in certain cases the prosecutor has the discretion of charging the crime as an infraction.

The elements of California Petty Theft

In order for the prosecutor to successfully convict you on a charge of petty theft, he or she must prove two elements:

  • you committed theft and
  • the property you stole is valued at $950 or less.

The value of the property is determined according to its fair market value. If the stealing involves services, the value is determined by the contract price. If there is no contract, the value of the services is determined by the reasonable rate for services in the area.

Theft can be committed in several ways under California law: ­

  • Permanently depriving another of their property
  • ­Temporarily depriving another of their property so as to deny the owner of a major part of the value of the property
  • ­Deceiving or defrauding another of their property or services
  • ­The intent to do any of the above

The Punishment for California Petty Theft

The punishment or penalties for a conviction of petty theft are: ­

  • A fine of up to $1,000
  • ­A maximum of three years of informal probation, and/or
  • ­A maximum of six (6) months in county jail

The punishment, however, many vary depending on the defendant’s criminal history and the value of the property or services stolen.

If you or someone you know is facing petty theft charges in Stockton, Fresno or the surrounding area, call petty theft criminal defense attorney Gurjit Srai to protect your legal rights.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

The Fresno criminal defense attorneys at the Srai Law Office provide experienced, quality legal assistance to individuals charged with a crime, including petty theft. Everyone deserves the best defense possible, and attorney Gurjit Srai is prepared to fight for you.

For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our criminal defense attorneys, please call us at (209) 323‐5558 or (559) 449‐1447, or complete our online form.

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