Los Angeles Theft Crime Lawyer
Over the past 25 years, I have developed many strategies to protect my client's criminal records if charged with a theft-related offense. First, we must show the prosecutor and judge the positive side of your life.
You get character letters from family, friends, your job, and any person or entity that knows you to be a good person and have good character. If we can portray you as a positive member of society and show that this behavior will never happen again, then we have a solid chance to convince the prosecutor and judge to give you a break.
Many programs can be utilized to prevent you from taking a criminal conviction on your record for the rest of your life. The key is to have an attorney who knows which program fits your situation and convince the powers that be to give you a chance to succeed.
Every case and the client has their particular circumstances that must be evaluated for a theft crime charge. However, having handled hundreds of cases over the years, I feel confident I have traveled the path you will be taking in the criminal court and can guide you to a successful resolution. If you have questions related to the different programs that can be utilized to prevent a criminal charge from becoming a criminal conviction on your record, call our office to speak with our Los Angeles, criminal defense attorneys.
What the New Propositions Have Done For Your Chances Related to a Theft Case
As an experienced theft crimes lawyer, I feel that the playing field for theft-related offenses has changed drastically throughout the past few years. The new propositions have directly affected theft-related crimes for the good of a criminal defendant in a very positive way.
Not only are many more different options available to a person charged with theft crimes, but the prosecutors and judge's harsh and harmful mentality related to these types of offenses has also been smashed. They now realize that society does not want people's lives destroyed over a theft-related crime and take a different approach to these cases.
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This is where a seasoned, savvy defense attorney can come in and save the day for you and your future. As a seasoned attorney, my sole objective is to protect my clients' rights. I make it a point to meet with my clients charged with theft crimes and obtain all of the details of their case and situation so we can immediately begin getting a result that considers their life and what they have to do to lose.
Now more than ever, some things can be done to protect your record and assist you in overcoming your arrest and moving on with your life in a positive direction. Call our office to discuss all these options.
Where Is My Hearing?
If you have been charged with theft in San Fernando Valley, the hearing of your case will depend on the area and jurisdiction. The Van Nuys court controls most of the West San Fernando Valley and the valley's center.
These areas have jurisdiction over all theft-related offenses, and offenders are charged by prosecutors who are either city attorneys or district attorneys. If the offense took place in the north end of the valley, the San Fernando courthouse usually deals with theft-related crimes.
Felonies are also handled at the north end of the valley. In other words, depending on the area in Los Angeles County where the theft offense occurred, the case will be heard within the court system in San Fernando Valley.
When a person posts bail on a theft-related offense, they will be given courthouse information from the bail bondsman. If the crime is a misdemeanor case, the police will often provide the offender a citation that indicates the courthouse where their case will be pending.
Sometimes, the police will make a mistake, and the person is sent to the wrong jurisdiction. If a person is sent to the wrong court, the court will reroute the case to the courthouse jurisdiction over that particular offense.
Do I Need An Attorney To Defend Me In a Petty Theft Case?
You should get an attorney to defend you, even if it's a petty theft or shoplifting case. It will likely show up on your record if you're charged with a crime. A mark on your record for theft, even if it's petty theft, can prevent a future employer from hiring you.
Theft on a record can have numerous consequences, and it would be wise to get an attorney to protect your rights and history. There are also diversion programs that are available depending on the theft. An experienced attorney can pull out all the stops and try to get your charges reduced or dropped when it comes to your theft-related offense.
There are many different tactics that your criminal defense attorney can use to argue for your case. It is highly recommended to hire an attorney who has experience in the courthouse where your case is pending. An attorney who has dealt with the prosecutors and the judges will prove invaluable.
What is California Proposition 47?
Proposition 47 reclassifies many low-level theft offenses from felonies to misdemeanors for some defendants. Proposition 47 allows some defendants to sign up for a diversionary program, or if the theft is small enough, the defendant might even be able to get an infraction instead of a misdemeanor.
Proposition 47 has watered down the effect of petty crime. It gives criminal defendants and their attorneys the ability to minimize the impact of theft in Los Angeles County.
Before Proposition 47, a defendant would've had to take a misdemeanor conviction for any theft-related offense and have a mark on their record. They would also be placed on probation for three years, and there would be a fine, community service, community labor, or jail time as punishment.
The defendant would have to stay away from the location they were accused of stealing from. Petty theft cases result in a harsh punishment that lasts for three years, making it difficult for the offender to get a job because of the mark on their record.
Different Theft Offenses and the Law Related to Them
Theft is the crime of taking another person's property without consent or authorization. There are many types of theft, including robbery, burglary, identity theft, credit card theft, embezzlement, shoplifting, receiving stolen property, and carjacking. Theft crimes are typically categorized as grand theft or petty theft. Of the two categories, grand theft is considered more severe and involves harsher legal consequences. Punishments for theft convictions may include jail time, restitution (repayment of stolen property's value), fines, probation, and court-ordered treatment.
If you have an experienced theft crimes lawyer by your side, the attorney will make sure that your rights are protected at all times. Our attorneys will go over the entire case with you before developing an aggressive defense strategy.
Petty theft is stealing property that is valued at $400 or less. In most cases, petty theft is considered a misdemeanor offense. If a person is convicted of petty theft, they may have to pay a fine and spend less than six months in jail. However, if the person has prior theft convictions or criminal history, their sentence can be enhanced. If you are a repeat offender, make sure you have a highly experienced lawyer.
Grand theft is stealing property valued at $400 or greater or the theft of a motor vehicle. In California, grand theft is considered a felony offense. If a person is convicted of grand theft, they may be punished with a year or more jail time and pay a fine. If the theft involved using a weapon or firearm, the person might have to spend up to 3 years in prison. Additionally, a person's sentence can be enhanced if they have prior theft convictions or criminal history.
Are There Any Civil Penalties Associated With A Petty Theft Conviction?
Civil penalties associated with a petty theft conviction are a debated topic. For instance, if you get caught stealing from a department store, you'll be taken into custody. The loss prevention office will often arrest you, take you into custody, and then call the police. Depending on the situation, the police will either arrest you and take you to jail or cite you from prison.
Sometimes the police will cite a person from the location and hand them a ticket stating they must appear in court. A person can always hire a lawyer and have a defense after their arrest. Afterward, the department store will usually send a letter saying that restitution is required, and a law firm will try to threaten you about paying the civil restitution. In my experience, if you don't pay the civil restitution, they're unlikely to try to collect it.
However, fines in criminal court can be imposed if you get charged for the offense. The offender pays a fine known as the victim restitution fund to help victims of crimes. There are also other fees in Los Angeles County that prosecutors can try and get you to pay concerning the offense you're charged with.
Your criminal defense attorney can help you determine which fines and restitution you face. If you get caught stealing, you're responsible for making the victim whole. You're either going to be accountable for giving back whatever you took or paying the value in criminal restitution.
Potential defense strategies will depend on your theft case. First and foremost, there needs to be proof that you stole something. Many crimes lately deal with people who are not necessarily stealing, but they're allegedly switching price tags or hiding goods in different goods and are paying for those goods. People returning items and getting arrested while attempting to return items is another example used to claim theft.
These examples can yield the defense depending on the prosecutors' evidence against a particular person. The loss prevention officers are often not as sophisticated as the police in catching allegedly stealing people.
Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys
Our criminal defense law firm has successfully handled various theft crime cases, ranging from misdemeanors to felonies at the Hedding Law Firm. Our attorneys understand people's adverse consequences when convicted of a theft crime. That is why we do everything we can to fight for our clients.
If you have been charged with a theft crime, call us today and discuss your case. Our skilled legal team will investigate your case's facts, contest evidence presented against you, and place every effort into your defense. We are dedicated to our clients and their cases.