San Jose Theft Crimes Lawyer

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San Jose Theft Crimes Lawyer

San Jose Theft Crimes Lawyer

Were you recently arrested for a theft crime in San Jose, CA? You could be facing serious jail time, financial penalties, and damage to your reputation. An experienced San Jose theft crimes lawyer at Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law can start working to protect you immediately, give us a call at (408) 217-8818

Collectively, our lawyers have over 30 years of experience helping clients fight criminal charges.

We know the laws inside and out and are ready to start fighting for you. Our team has decades of experience handling criminal cases around Northern California, such as homicides in San Jose, resisting arrests, violent crimes, battery in San Jose, shoplifting, and more.

It’s never too early to take legal action. To learn more about how we can help, contact our law offices in San Jose, California, to schedule a free consultation today.

How Can Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law Help if You Were Arrested for a Theft Crime in San Jose?

How Can Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law Help if You Were Arrested for a Theft Crime in San Jose?

It’s always frightening to be accused of a crime. Regardless of whether you’ve been charged, it’s important to start building your defense immediately. The prosecution won’t wait to start building their case. Our San Jose criminal defense lawyers can build the aggressive defense you need.

At Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law, we’ve helped protect the legal rights of countless clients like you. We’ve been rated by Super Lawyers and Rising Stars. Our legal team also includes a California State Bar Certified Specialist in Criminal Law.

When you hire us, you can count on us to:

  • Investigate the circumstances of the arrest and charge
  • Identify any holes in the prosecution’s case
  • Make sure your constitutional rights are protected
  • Help you understand the implications of a plea bargain
  • Negotiate with prosecutors to have your charges downgraded or your case dismissed
  • Advocate for your rights in court if necessary

An experienced San Jose criminal defense attorney can greatly improve your chances of reaching the best outcome in your case. To learn more, call for a free consultation today.

Overview of the Laws on Theft Crimes in California

As in every other state, theft is a crime under California law. Under California Penal Code Section 484 PC, theft, or larceny, is broadly defined as taking someone else’s property without permission.

To convict on general theft charges, state prosecutors must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • You took someone else’s personal property
  • You did not have the owner’s consent
  • You intended to either permanently deprive the owner of the property or keep it for a long period of time
  • You moved the property and kept it for some amount of time

Larceny can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. Generally, the severity of the theft charge will depend on the value of the stolen property.

It’s also possible that you could be charged with a more specific type of theft crime. 

At Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law, we handle all types of theft cases in Santa Clara County, including those involving:

  • Petty theft
  • Grand theft
  • Grand theft auto
  • Shoplifting 
  • Robbery
  • Burglary 
  • Carjacking 
  • Embezzlement 
  • Fraud or forgery
  • Identity theft
  • Federal theft crimes

Are you facing criminal charges? Call our law firm in San Jose for a free case review today. Our theft defense lawyers know what it takes to build the strong defense you deserve.

Petty Theft

Under California Penal Code Section 488 PC, you can be charged with petty theft if the value of the stolen property is less than $950.

Petty theft is typically a misdemeanor. 

However, more serious charges may apply under California Penal Code Section 666 PC if:

  • You were convicted of theft in the past
  • You served time in jail or prison
  • You have a prior conviction for a sex crime or violent crime

In these cases, you may face either misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the circumstances.

Grand Theft

Felony-level grand theft charges will apply if the stolen property has a value of $950 or more. 

In the past, theft of firearms or automobiles was automatically a felony. However, under Proposition 47, the prosecution now must prove that the value of the property is at least $950 to charge you with a felony.


Robbery is a much more serious felony.

To convict on robbery charges under California Penal Code Section 211 PC, prosecutors must prove that:

  • You took someone else’s property from the owner’s person or in their immediate presence
  • You accomplished the theft using fear or force

Robbery can be a first-degree felony or a second-degree felony. You can face first-degree felony charges if the victim was:

  • A passenger or driver on a bus, subway, or train
  • At or near an ATM
  • In an inhabited structure when the theft occurred (for example, if you broke into someone’s home)

Any other type of robbery is a second-degree felony


You could face serious burglary charges if you entered a commercial or residential building with the intent to commit theft or another felony. Prosecutors don’t have to prove that you were successful. You can be convicted of burglary if they can prove that you intended to commit the crime.

Burglary would be a first-degree offense if the building was someone’s residence. If the building was a commercial structure, you could be charged with either a felony or a misdemeanor.

Note that shoplifting is also a type of burglary. The severity of a shoplifting charge will depend on the value of the stolen goods.

White-Collar Theft Crimes

There are many different white-collar theft crimes. 

Our lawyers often represent clients who have been charged with:

  • Embezzlement
  • Identity theft
  • Extortion
  • Fraud or forgery
  • Theft by false pretenses 
  • Credit card fraud
  • Money laundering
  • Making or selling counterfeit goods
  • Mail theft
  • Writing bad checks
  • Computer crimes

Like other theft crimes, a white-collar crime can be a felony or misdemeanor. 

For example, under California Penal Code Section 503 PC, you can be convicted for embezzlement if the district attorney can prove that you fraudulently appropriated property that you didn’t own but had legal access to.

Generally speaking, the elements of an embezzlement charge are:

  • You were entrusted with someone else’s property
  • You occupied a position of trust, whether as a banker or even a family member
  • You took the property for your own gain and without permission
  • You intended to deprive the legal owner of the benefit of the property

Whether embezzlement is a felony or misdemeanor depends on whether the property involved has a value of $950 or more.

What Are the Penalties for Theft Crimes in San Jose, California? 

The penalties for a theft conviction vary depending upon the exact criminal charge. 

For example, if you’re charged with a misdemeanor criminal offense, you may be sentenced to:

  • Up to six months in county jail for petty theft or misdemeanor shoplifting
  • Up to one year in jail for petty theft if you have a prior conviction
  • Up to one year in jail for misdemeanor grand theft or misdemeanor second-degree burglary
  • Up to one year in county jail for receiving stolen property

If you’re charged with a felony, you could face a much more serious prison term. 

Potential punishments in felony cases include:

  • Up to three years in jail for felony shoplifting
  • 16 months, two years, or three years in jail for grand theft
  • Up to three years in state prison for receiving stolen property
  • Up to four years in state prison for first-degree burglary
  • Up to nine years in state prison for first-degree robbery
  • Two, three, or five years in state prison for second-degree robbery
  • Three, six, or nine years in prison for carjacking

In some theft cases, you may also receive a “strike” under California’s three-strikes law.

Of course, any criminal conviction carries significant collateral consequences, including:

  • A criminal record, which can make it difficult to find housing or employment 
  • Probation or parole
  • Financial penalties
  • Restitution 
  • Immigration problems
  • Loss of your right to own a firearm
  • Loss of child custody
  • Loss of certain professional licenses

Were you accused of a theft crime? Call our San Jose theft crimes attorneys at Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law today. We offer a free case review, so don’t hesitate to reach out for the legal advice you need.

What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Arrested for a Theft Crime in California? 

The best defense strategy will depend on the type of charge you’re facing and the prosecution’s evidence against you.

Examples of the legal defenses we’ll evaluate include:

  • You didn’t intend to commit the offense or steal the property
  • You didn’t intend to permanently deprive the owner of the property
  • You had the owner’s consent (or believed you did)
  • Mistaken identity
  • False allegations
  • Illegal search and seizure or other constitutional violations by law enforcement 

The prosecution must prove every element of the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Our goal is to make that as difficult as possible. To learn more about the defense options in your case, call our law firm for a free initial consultation.

Schedule a Free Consultation With a San Jose Theft Crimes Lawyer

Were you arrested or charged with theft in the Bay Area or Palo Alto? You need an experienced San Jose theft crimes lawyer in your corner. The website is for general information only, so contact Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law for a free consultation to learn more today.

You can also get in touch with a theft crimes lawyer in Redwood City.

Our San Jose, CA criminal defense law firm also provides:

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