Grand theft is a relatively common crime in California and elsewhere. You can get charged with grand theft under a variety of circumstances, from shoplifting to embezzlement, and face possible prison time and fines.
Grand theft charges are also often concurrent with other crimes. For example, in an unusual recent case, a man in Los Angeles allegedly hopped into a vehicle and drove away in an attempt to steal it; the vehicle, as it turns out, was a hearse bearing a body. According to news reports, among the charges the man now faces are grand theft involving an automobile and "unlawful transportation of remains."
The following are three important things you might not know about grand theft in California:
1) It doesn't only involve automobiles
Because of the popular video game, this might be a misconception for some people. However, grand theft typically involves other people's property when it's valued at over $950.
2) What about property worth $950 or less?
Typically, this would lead to a charge of petty theft.
However, there are some situations where you can get charged with grand theft under these circumstances. Before Proposition 47 passed late in 2014, anyone could have faced charges of grand theft for stealing certain items such as a gun or a car, or property taken straight off of the property owner (such as a snatched purse), even if the dollar value was no more than $950. Now, these conditions don't apply to everyone but only to people who have a certain criminal history - if, for example, they're a registered sex offender or have received convictions for certain felonies.
3) Grand theft might be a felony or a misdemeanor
In many situations, prosecutors can charge you with either felony or misdemeanor grand theft; they'll make the choice based in large part on your criminal history and on the details of your case, including the amount stolen and whether you used violence. However, keep in mind that in some cases, there is no option between misdemeanor and felony; for instance, grand theft involving a gun is always a felony.
If you're facing charges of grand theft, don't hesitate to contact us for strong legal representation, to increase the chances that you'll beat the charge or at least receive lighter penalties. We work with individuals who live in or around Temecula, Murrieta, Menifee, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Hemet, Perris, Banning, Corona and Riverside.