Petty Theft

What is Petty Theft in California 

California Petty Theft; Penal Code (PC) 488

Petty theft in California is the crime of larceny if the accused takes possession of someone else’s property without that person’s permission and takes the property (valued at $400 or less) for a duration long enough that the owner would have been denied its value or enjoyment. The petty theft charge is also a crime of moral turpitude for those who are not yet U.S. citizens. Thus, it is not exactly a simple or petty theft case.

If the value of the item is over $400 but up to $950, it’ll be charged as Penal Code 484, theft. It’s usually PC 484(a).

It is very important to find a local petty theft attorney if you live in the Santa Ana, Anaheim, Midway City, Westminster, or Cypress area of SoCal. Local petty theft case attorneys are more familiar with local judges, their propensities, and the general ways of doing business in the court to help facilitate your case.

My practice helps both citizens and immigrants with their criminal cases.  The majority of cases involve simple misdemeanors and low-level felonies where good people got caught up in a tough situation. Typical cases are; shoplifting, DUI’s, drug possessions, drug paraphernalia, domestic violence, theft, burglary, assault, battery, driving without a license, driving on a suspended license, domestic battery, sexual assault, outstanding warrants, failure to appear, probation violation, indecent exposure, sex with a minor (under-aged person), felony evasion, resisting arrest, weapons, weapons possession, discharge of firearms within city limits, attempt crimes, leaving the scene of an accident, hit and run, conspiracy, solicitation, prostitution, sex cases, drug cases, and much more. Call the number below for a same-day evaluation or consolations.

We help defend your rights against misdemeanor or felony charges.  We can recall your warrant.  Wais Azami is an Orange County criminal defense attorney with offices in Garden Grove and Seal Beach to provide legal service to all of Orange County and surround areas as a top petty theft attorney.

Petty Theft ~ Conversion of Real Property to Personal Property by Severance

Every person who converts real estate of the value of less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) into personal property by severance from the reality of another, and with a felonious intent to do so steals, takes, and carries away that property is guilty of petty theft and is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.

Petty Theft; Punishment

Petty theft is punishable by y fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), oy imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or both.  A strong and experienced theft lawyer has the know-how to defend you aggressively.

Receiving Stolen Property:

Every person who buys or receives any property that has been stolen or that has been obtained in any manner constituting theft or extortion, knowing the property to be so stolen or obtained, or who conceals, sells, withholds, or aids in concealing, selling, or withholding any property from the owner, knowing the property to be so stolen or obtained, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.

However, if the value of the property does not exceed nine hundred fifty dollars ($950), the offense shall be a misdemeanor, punishable only by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, if such person has no prior convictions for an offense specified in clause (iv) of subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 667 or for an offense requiring registration pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 290.

A principal in the actual theft of the property may be convicted pursuant to this section. However, no person may be convicted both under this section and of the theft of the same property. Swap meet vendors may have extra remedies.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Petty Theft?

Petty theft is sometimes known as petit theft from the French word for petit (small). The value limits vary from state to state, but generally it is classified as “small” because it involves stealing something of relatively limited value.

Still, it is a crime. Specifically, it’s a misdemeanor, meaning that you are still subject to a maximum sentence of one year in jail.

Immigration Consequences

Petty theft qualifies as a crime of moral the consequences of a conviction can go far beyond the sentence served and a smudge on your record. It can jeopardize your ability to remain in the country legally or to later become a citizen. Do I Need A Lawyer For Petty Theft, call Wais Azami.

It is especially important for non-Americans accused of crimes here to try to resolve their cases with immigration in mind. Not every attorney understands immigration consequences of criminal cases. But many firms do have the two types of lawyers working together. It’s a good idea to seek representation from someone who understands the intersection of these two areas of the law.

Right to Representation

Even if you cannot afford to hire an attorney, you may be entitled to representation. In Gideon, a seminal case in American legal history, a unanimous Supreme Court wrote, “in our adversary system of criminal justice, any person haled into court, who is too poor to hire a lawyer, cannot be assured a fair trial unless counsel is provided for him.”

The precise rules vary from state to state, but generally speaking, if you are indigent and accused of a crime that could subject you to jail time, you are entitled to court-appointed counsel. Public defenders and court-appointed attorneys have overwhelming case loads and limited time to coddle clients. But they often also have a lot of experience, gained in the trenches, and can handle your petty theft charge adeptly. Do I Need A Lawyer For Petty Theft, call Wais Azami.

Keep the Future in Mind

If you are not entitled to counsel, do hire a lawyer. Do not dismiss this petty theft charge as no big thing. The prosecution is extremely unlikely to do so … unless, of course, your attorney can negotiate a great resolution. Do I Need A Lawyer For Petty Theft, call Wais Azami.

Everyone needs an attorney when charged with a crime. There are cumulative effects of conviction. Multiple convictions lead to increasingly severe sentences.

So even if you swear you will never find yourself in this position again, you still should absolutely not try to resolve a criminal case without help.


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