Redwood City Theft Crimes Lawyer
Are you facing theft crime charges in Redwood City, CA? The consequences of a conviction can be harsh. You may be facing time in prison, financial penalties, and much more. Contact an experienced Redwood City theft crimes lawyer with Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law to start building your legal defense today, call us at (650) 299-0500.
Between us, our lawyers have over 30 years of experience representing clients accused of committing theft crimes in the Bay Area. As a result, we’re highly familiar with California’s criminal laws–so we’re well-prepared to fight for you.
Don’t leave your criminal defense to chance or use a lawyer who only has experience in personal injury cases. Instead, contact our law offices in Redwood City, California, for a free initial consultation.
How Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law Can Help if You Were Arrested for a Theft Crime in Redwood City
California state prosecutors handle criminal matters every day. You should expect that they’ll start building their criminal case as soon as you’re arrested. That makes it important to seek experienced legal representation immediately.
Our criminal defense attorneys in Redwood City at Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law, know which defense strategies are likely to work in your case. Our team is led by a state bar-certified criminal law specialist. We’ve also been recognized by Super Lawyers and the National Trial Lawyers.
When you call us for help, expect us to:
- Conduct our own investigation into your arrest
- Protect your rights throughout your case
- Gather evidence to prove your innocence
- Work with the prosecution to reduce your charges or have your case dismissed
- Bring your case to trial if that’s in your best interest
It’s never too early to start protecting your legal rights. Contact our Redwood City criminal defense lawyers to learn more about how we’ll fight to protect you.
Overview of Theft Crimes in California
Theft offenses are extremely common in the state of California. However, there are many different ways that a theft crime can be classified. Some are much more serious than others.
California Penal Code Section 484 PC is the basic statute on theft (larceny) in California. It makes it a crime to take someone’s property without their permission.
To prove you committed larceny, state prosecutors must prove:
- You took someone’s property or money
- You didn’t have the lawful owner’s consent
- You moved the property and kept it for at least some amount of time
- You intended to deprive the owner of that property, whether permanently or for an extended period of time
Initially, theft can be classified as petty theft or grand theft. The stolen property’s value generally determines the severity of the charge.
First offenders can be charged with petty theft under California Penal Code Section 488 PC if the stolen goods’ value was $950 or less. Most of the time, petty theft is a misdemeanor.
Repeat offenders can face felony or misdemeanor charges under California Penal Code Section 666 PC if:
- You have a prior theft conviction
- You’ve also been convicted of certain violent crimes or sex crimes
- You previously served time in prison or jail
You can be charged with petty theft if you’re accused of embezzlement, larceny, shoplifting, and most other types of theft crimes.
Prosecutors can charge you with grand theft if the stolen property is worth more than $950. Grand theft charges can also apply if the stolen property is an automobile or firearm.
Grand theft is a wobbler. Depending on the facts, you could face misdemeanor or felony charges.
Specific Theft Offenses
Depending on the facts, you could be charged with a different crime.
Our Redwood City theft crimes attorneys at Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law have successfully defended clients accused of:
- Grand theft auto
- Identity theft
- Money laundering
- Embezzlement, fraud, and other white-collar crimes
- Federal theft crimes
You could be accused of theft any time you took something that didn’t belong to you. Still, the elements of each type of theft offense are different. Our lawyers are here to make it as difficult as possible for the prosecution to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Depending on the facts, you could be charged with:
To convict on robbery under California Penal Code Section 211 PC, the district attorney must prove:
- You took someone else’s property from their person or in their immediate presence
- You took the property against their will
- You used fear or force to accomplish the theft
There are two degrees of robbery:
- First-degree robbery charges apply when you’re accused of stealing from an inhabited structure, a passenger or driver on a certain type of vehicle, or someone using or near an ATM
- Second-degree robbery charges apply in all other cases
Robbery is always a felony. It’s also treated as a violent crime that carries potentially harsh penalties in the state of California.
Burglary is also a serious crime. You’ll be charged with burglary if you’re accused of stealing from an inhabited residential or commercial building. You can also be charged with burglary if you attempted to steal from a building, even if you weren’t successful.
There are two degrees of burglary:
- First-degree burglary charges apply if the building was a residence
- Second-degree burglary charges apply if the building was not a residence
First-degree burglary is always a felony. Second-degree burglary can be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances.
Note that shoplifting is a type of burglary. It’s different from other types of larceny because the defendant enters the store intending to shoplift.
Embezzlement is one of many white-collar theft crimes. Embezzlement is the illegal taking of property in cases where the defendant had lawful access to the stolen property. In other words, the crime involves appropriating the property for your own personal gain.
Embezzlement can be a felony or misdemeanor. The severity of the charge depends on the property’s value.
What Are the Penalties for Theft Crimes in Redwood City, California?
The potential punishment for a theft crime conviction can vary widely. Depending on the facts, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony.
Penalties for Misdemeanor Theft Crimes
If convicted of misdemeanor theft, you might face:
- Up to six months in jail for petty theft
- Up to six months in jail for misdemeanor shoplifting
- Up to one year in jail for receiving stolen property
As with most other criminal cases, the judge has discretion in assigning your penalty. Aggravating factors could lead to harsher sentences. For example, you could face longer jail sentences if you have a prior conviction.
Penalties for Felony Theft Crimes
The penalties for a felony theft conviction are much more serious.
Depending on the exact charge, you might face:
- As many as three years in jail for (felony) shoplifting
- Between 16 months to three years in prison for felony grand theft
- Up to four years in California state prison for first-degree burglary
- Up to three years in county jail for second-degree burglary
- Up to nine years in prison for the charge of first-degree robbery
- Between two to five years in prison for second-degree robbery
It’s also possible that you could be sentenced to probation in lieu of jail time.
The exact penalties that you’ll face will depend heavily on the circumstances. Regardless, it’s always important to hire an experienced defense lawyer any time you’re accused of a crime. At Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law, we’re ready to start building your effective defense today. Just call for your free case review to get started.
Collateral Consequences of a Theft Conviction
Theft is a crime of moral turpitude. If convicted, you’ll also face serious collateral consequences, including:
- Loss of professional licenses
- A lasting criminal record
- Immigration problems
- Loss of child custody or visitation
- Difficult finding housing or employment
These are the types of penalties that can haunt you for years to come. Our lawyers are here to do everything possible to minimize the consequences you’re facing.
What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Accused of a Theft Crime in California?
A strong defense can make all the difference if you’ve been accused of a crime.
Possible defenses include:
- You did not intend to deprive the owner of the property
- You were the rightful owner of the property
- You did not take someone else’s property
- You had the owner’s consent to take the property
- You never moved or transferred the property
- Constitutional violations, including illegal search and seizure or Miranda violations
- The prosecution lacks evidence to prove all elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt
- False allegations or mistaken identity
Remember, a criminal charge isn’t the same as a conviction. Our lawyers will work to build the strongest defense possible in your case. Get started today by calling our law firm for a free consultation.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Redwood City Theft Crimes Lawyer
Being charged with a crime is always a serious matter. If you were accused of a crime in San Mateo County, call Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Redwood City theft crimes lawyer today.