Theft is not necessarily the minor crime many people think it is. A conviction for stealing items – even items of relatively little value – can have long-lasting consequences. The conviction will show up on your record, you could spend time in jail and your reputation could be damaged. Whether you are charged with petty theft or grand theft, you need the help of a skilled criminal defense lawyer.
At Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law, we help our clients avoid or minimize the harsh consequences of conviction by mounting intelligent, aggressive defenses. We represent adults and juveniles in San Mateo County and the surrounding communities who are accused of felony and misdemeanor theft crimes.
Understanding Theft Charges in California
The type of offense charged greatly depends on the value of the items alleged to have been taken. Our San Mateo theft defense attorneys are knowledgeable and experienced in handling all degrees of theft.
- Petty theft: This is a misdemeanor, charged against someone accused of stealing property worth $950 or less. A conviction is punishable by up to six months in jail, a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to three years of probation.
- Grand theft: This crime is often charged as a felony, but may be reduced to a misdemeanor depending on the circumstances. Grand theft occurs when the items stolen are worth more than $950 dollars. It is punishable by up to three years imprisonment, heavy fines and actual restitution. Grand theft from one’s employer is considered embezzlement and is often punished more severely than grand theft from a stranger.
Prior Theft Related Offenses: Consequences for Future Convictions
It is critical to have a skilled defense lawyer on your side in all theft cases. This is especially true when you are charged with petty theft and you have been previously convicted of a theft related crime. This is because theft offenses are priorable under Penal Code section 666. Under this section, a person can be charged with a felony if he or she was convicted and served time for any of the following theft offenses three or more times:
- Grand theft
- Auto theft under Section 10851 of the Vehicle Code
- A felony violation of Section 496
People who are required to register as a sex offender are punished more severely under Penal Code section 666. If a 290 registrant is convicted of petty theft and serves time in a penal institution for that offense, then any future petty theft offense can be charged as a felony.
Keeping Your Record Clean
Our San Mateo County theft defense lawyers use all available strategies to keep our clients’ records clean. We have succeeded in having many petty theft cases thrown out for lack of evidence. In grand theft cases, we may be able to negotiate the charge down to a misdemeanor and then petition to have the conviction expunged following a petition for an early termination of probation or after you have successfully completed your probation.
You deserve a strong, creative, intelligent defense. At Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law, that is exactly what we provide.
Contact a Redwood City Petty Theft Charges Attorney
Do not hesitate to seek legal advice if you are charged with a theft crime in the San Francisco, Bay Area. The legal team at Ahmed & Sukaram is ready to talk to you about your situation and how we can help. Call 877-337-0697. You can also contact our law firm online. If you communicate best in Spanish or another language, simply let us know. Se habla español.
We believe in keeping the lines of communication open with our clients. We promptly return calls and e-mails, and after-hours calls to our law firm are automatically forwarded to an attorney.