- Petty Theft
- Grand Theft
- Receipt of Stolen Property
- Identity Theft
- Credit Card Theft
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Los Angeles Theft Crime Lawyer
Los Angeles Criminal Attorney Debra S. White takes a unique approach when defending against charges of theft such as shoplifting or petty theft, grand theft, and embezzlement. Ms. White develops creative and strategic defenses catered to the needs of each client in order to obtain the best outcome possible. Her methods have proven successful for countless clients charged with theft throughout Los Angeles courts.
A theft crime is a criminal act in which a person willfully takes another person’s property without consent. In California, theft crimes can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the property taken. For example, if the property taken is valued at $950 or less, then it will be classified as petty theft and will usually be charged as a misdemeanor. If the stolen property is valued at less than $50, the petty theft charge may be reduced to an infraction. If the property is valued above $950, then it is classified as grand theft and will usually be charged as a felony. The classification of the charge as a misdemeanor or a felony will also depend on whether the defendant has prior theft charges or a prior criminal record.
Theft Crime Punishment
If a person is charged with a theft crime as a misdemeanor, they face up to one year in jail, probation, fines and fees, and will be ordered to pay restitution to any victims. In addition, they may be required to perform Cal Trans or community service, and participate in a rehabilitation program.
If a person is charged with a theft offense as a felony, they can face several years or more in prison depending on the nature of the charge, the monetary value of the property taken, whether anyone was harmed or injured as a result of the offense, and the defendant’s prior criminal history. They will also be placed on probation or parole, will be ordered to pay any restitution due to the victim, and required to pay expensive fines and fees. Additional consequences, and alternatives to jail include electronic home monitoring or house arrest, work release, Cal Trans, Community Service, restitution to the victim(s), and participation in a rehabilitation program.
Know The Lawyer You Hire
Finding the right criminal defense lawyer can be a daunting task. With the advent of the Internet and website advertising, there are now hundreds, if not thousands of lawyers at your fingertips. Unfortunately, what looks like a good in a website, may not be good in reality. For this reason, Ms. White recommends that when you take the following steps to ensure that you hire the right criminal lawyer:
- When you contact a law firm, be careful of any legal advice from a non-lawyer.
- Ask for a consultation from the lawyer you might hire. Most criminal defense lawyers offer free initial consultations.
- If possible, meet with the attorney you intend to hire in person.
- Make sure that the lawyer you hire is the same person who will actually represent you and not an associate you have never met.
- Do your homework. Research the attorney. Are they legally licensed to practice law in California? The State Bar of California's Member Search will tell you if there has been any disciplinary action against the attorney.
- Check for any client reviews about the attorney. What do others have to say about this attorney? Beware of fake testimonials and Internet marketing ploys!
- Interview the attorney. How long have has the attorney been practicing criminal defense in Los Angeles? Where did they go to law school? What is their experience in handling theft cases? What, if any, trial experience do they have? What is their success rate? Are they available to take your case? Will someone else work on your case?
- Is it better to hire an attorney who is a former prosecutor? It is a misconception that former prosecutors make better defense attorneys. An experienced criminal defense attorney usually has more experience dealing with prosecutors and Judges in more courthouses than a former prosecutor who usually works in one office and one courthouse or courtroom. Moreover, attorneys who become prosecutors are usually pro-prosecution, and not defense-oriented. When a prosecutor decides to "switch sides" are they doing it because they are true defenders who want to fight for the rights of the accused? It is our experience that the best criminal defense attorneys have not only extensive legal knowledge, experience, and skill that is required to effectively and successfully represent a criminal defendant but are defense-minded people who are truly compassionate about helping their clients and zealously defending their rights.
The lawyer you hire does make a difference.
Contact Ms. White today for a free initial confidential consultation at 818-609-1800. We are available to take your call 24/7.