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When does a theft become a grand theft?

For the most part people in California know that they are not suppose to take things that do not belong to them. However, for many different reasons people do take things that they should not take. If this occurs, people who take those items can be charged with theft. Sometimes people just take small items from a store that they may need such as food or other items. This is commonly referred to a shoplifting. Usually, the amount taken is relatively low. Other times people may take large items or steal money from companies or other people.

The more someone steals has a more detrimental affect on the company or person whose property or money was taken. As such there are two main types of theft that people can be charged with if they take something. The lesser of the two types is known as petty theft and the other is called grand theft. The potential penalties for grand theft are more severe than the penalties for petty theft.

Elements of grand theft

People could be charged with grand theft in a few different situations. One is if the values of the property taken is above $950. There are some exceptions to this rule though. If the property taken is avocados, olives, citrus, other farm crops, commercial shellfish, fish, mollusks and other aquacultural products and the value taken exceeds $250 then people could be charged with grand theft.

In addition to situations where the value of the property exceeds certain dollar amounts, people can also be charged with grand theft if the property is taken directly from the person of the victim or if the property taken is a vehicle or a firearm.

There are many people in California who are charged with a grand theft. Being charged does not necessarily mean that the person will face the harsh penalties associated with a conviction. People may have defenses available to them such as showing that they never intended to keep the property and permanently deprive the victim of it. Experienced attorneys understand the seriousness of a theft charge and may be able to help protect people’s rights.

 

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John Patrick Ryan has been practicing law for over 20 years. Experienced in criminal law. U.S. Navy Veteran.