Avoiding a Penal Code 487 Grand Theft Conviction
These cases are treated very seriously because to be a grand theft in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley courts; someone has to take more than $950.00. Hence, many of these cases involve thousands of dollars, and the prosecutors treat this very seriously because they do not want people engaging in this type of theft-related activity. Grand theft is defined under California Penal Code 487 PC.
So, a lot of time, they will try to put that person in custody for a significant period and, of course, order them to pay the money back or the value of whatever the property is that particular individual took. If the person doesn't have the money to pay things back, then a lot of times, the prosecutors will attempt to get the judge to sentence him to a lengthy jail or prison sentence to try to make things right, and then they still end up getting ordered to pay the money back.
So, just because somebody doesn't have the money doesn't necessarily mean they're not going to be ordered to pay it back. If they can't come up with the money, they'll end up getting a judgment on their record which will follow them around if they don't pay the money back. What you're trying to avoid here is the stigma of having that theft-related offense on your record.
For example, you ended up having yourself convicted for a theft-related offense. That would make it very difficult to get loans or employment. If it's a felony, you won't vote and lose other government rights. So, if you or a loved one is charged with grand theft in Los Angeles County, I have had a lot of success with these types of offenses to get good results. One big thing we can do is to come up with some money owed.
Suppose we're able to pay the money upfront. In that case, this is an excellent bargaining chip that I'm able to use in a lot of these cases in avoiding jail time and trying to work things out so the person can either not get a felony from the beginning or can earn a misdemeanor charge at a future date if they can perform successfully on probation.
San Fernando and Van Nuys Courthouses
The San Fernando Valley, as far as these theft crimes go, they're usually prosecuted in either the Van Nuys or San Fernando courthouses because these courthouses control most of this area. As far as theft cases in the north end of the Valley, those will be prosecuted by the San Fernando court, and in the West Valley and middle of the Valley, Van Nuys will be the court where all cases will be sent.
Sometimes, those cases are divided between Van Nuys and the Airport or LAX Court if you're in Malibu. Also, if you consider Glendale, Burbank, and Pasadena part of the Valley, then that certainly would be courts that would deal with grand theft cases as well.
Fighting Penal Code 487 Grand Theft Charges
So, how we're getting good results in these grand theft cases is, we're first figuring out what type of a case is it as far as what kind of defense we're going to employ. Is it a case where you have a reason for the crime? In which case, we'll get witnesses and get things ready to do a jury trial, or is it a situation where you do not have a defense to the crime, and instead, we're going to have to plea bargain with the prosecutors.
So, this is the first decision we're making in these cases. You don't want to cause problems with the prosecutors on a topic that you're ultimately going to lose because then your client will undoubtedly suffer the consequences of that. So, suppose we're going to be in a situation where we're trying to negotiate one of these grand theft cases. We will put together a package of mitigation that we can show the prosecutors and judge to try to convince them to give the client a break. This is a crucial thing to do.
We get character letters. We get information about your job and family life to convince the judge and prosecutor to give you a break and not send you to jail and not make you eat a felony. These are the type of essential things that we're thinking about and looking at when we tackle these grand theft-related offenses.
Then I will set up a meeting with the supervisor, face-to-face, sending them all of the excellent information mitigation information related to you and then trying to convince them to give you a resolution that takes into account your family life, your job, your record, your future and of course, your freedom. Hedding Law Firm is a Los Angeles criminal defense law firm and offers a free case review at (213) 542-0940.