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Grand Theft, also known as Grand Larceny, is the acquiring of another person's property by illegal means and without their consent. In California theft crimes are classified by the value of the loss and the circumstances in which the item is taken. In California Grand Theft is defined as the unlawful taking of another person's property which is valued over $950 (California Penal Code 487(a)). Items of value under $950.00 are commonly charged as Petty Theft. Grand Theft can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Grand theft is most commonly charged as a felony. The prosecutor determines the charges based on factors such as; criminal history, if the defendant is on probation or parole, the value of the allegedly stolen property, if a weapon was used in the theft, and other details of the alleged crime.
Grand theft is known by many names, which are associated with the type of property and circumstances of the alleged theft. Some of these include:
The value of the allegedly stolen property is typically the determining variable in Grand Theft. However regardless of value, the following types of property, are always classified as Grand Theft: Cars, Trucks, Automobiles, Airplanes, Firearms, Farm Animals, and many farm products.
To be convicted of grand theft, the prosecutor must prove that the value of the alleged stolen property is sufficient, there was an intent to steal the property and the accused committed the theft. If the prosecution is successful in proving these issues the defendant may face, jail time at the County or State level, probation, parole and/or fines/restitution. Grand Theft can be considered a Strike in the California criminal court system. The criminal charge will also appear on the defendant's record, which may be viewed by potential employers in the future. A grand theft charge on an individual's records can also negatively impact State Licenses and other benefits.
A criminal defense lawyer can represent a defendant charged with Grand Theft from the arrest through sentencing. A defense lawyer can present their clients case and through their knowledge and experience in the criminal court system seek out opportunities to dismiss false charges, mitigate between felony and misdemeanor charges, negotiate fines and negotiate punishment in the case of a guilty verdict or plea.
In the case of false Grand Theft criminal charges, a criminal lawyer can introduce evidence to prove there was lack of intent, there was consent by the owner, possession is due to a mistake and/or the property is rightfully the defendant's.
In the case of a conviction or guilty plea to a Grand Theft criminal charge, there is the possibility that alternatives to incarceration time can be sought, such as house arrest, counseling, and/or probation.
Lastly because Grand Theft can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, a criminal attorney can present a case to the prosecutor to reduce the charges to misdemeanor charges. A grand theft misdemeanor charge will provide more opportunities for alternative jail options and future expungment options. By challenging the value of the alleged stolen property both in terms of market value and replacement value, a Criminal Defense Attorney may possibly be able to reduce felony charges to misdemeanor charges.
If you have been charged with Grand Theft, call Attorney Search Network and we can refer you to a criminal defense lawyer that can help you with your Grand Theft charges.
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