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PRACTICE AREAS Law Office of Gerald E. Smith


Former Police officer AND Prosecutor

In California Theft is defined as the unlawful taking of property of another with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property. 

It is a petty theft if the value of the property is valued at nine hundred and fifty dollars ($950) or less. 

It would be charged as a felony if the value exceeds the nine hundred and fifty dollar ($950) value. 

For misdemeanor petty theft the punishment is up to 180 days in jail, fine  up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) or both. 

There are defenses available for a theft charge, some of which are:  
* You did not have the requisite intent to steal the item;
* The item taken belongs to you;
* You were given consent to take the item; and/or
* There was never a theft, you were falsely accused of theft. 

Types of Theft are: 
Theft by Larceny
Theft by False Pretense
Theft by trick
Theft by embezzlement 
Shoplifting is a form of theft

Felony theft carries a potential punishment of 1 year 4 months,  2 years or 3 year punishment in prison.

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