If you are arrested for stealing something, please call a San Diego defense lawyer as soon as possible. Remember that what you say can be used against you, which is why you should always insist on speaking to an attorney before talking to the police.
Most thefts that do not involve firearms, vehicles or violence against the victim are either grand or petty theft. The difference between the two charges is that petty theft occurs when the stolen property is valued at under $950 and when the property is valued at more than that, it is grand theft. While grand theft can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, petty theft is always a misdemeanor, so if the value of the stolen property is just over $950, a Carmel Valley theft defense attorney may be able to negotiate for the charges to be filed as petty theft.
Prosecutors even have the discretion to reduce petty theft charges to an infraction. This is important because the misdemeanor petty theft charge requires a defendant to go through the book and release process at the jail and it will count as a prior conviction on your record, whereas infractions merely result in a fine and do not appear on your criminal record.
Fortunately, there are a lot of potential defenses against this crime. Illegal search and seizure, improper arrests, false accusations and more can lead to the charges getting dropped. Similarly, your Del Mar defense attorney could also argue that you did not intend to take the item or that the item was actually yours to begin with. This is why it is so important to remain silent until you speak to an attorney, trying to explain your situation may end up hurting your defense later on.
If you have been accused of petty theft, please call Carlsbad theft lawyer Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024 to schedule a free initial consultation.
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