California Theft Offenses – Legal Definition

Our Southern California law firm has represented many clients who have been charged with California theft offenses. California theft offenses are defined and charged under California Penal Code 484 through 490.

California Penal Code 484 (PC 484) defines what acts constitute theft. Penal Code 484 is quite lengthy and describes many different forms of theft. However, it first defines theft as an offense committed by those who “steal, take, carry, lead, or drive away the personal property of another”. Not only is this the most common definition of theft, it is also the one our knowledgeable California Defense attorneys represent most often.

The California Penal Code 486 divides all theft offenses into two degrees; petty theft and grand theft. California Penal Code 487, through several sections, defines what acts constitute grand theft. A theft will generally be classified as Grand Theft when the value of merchandise stolen is over $400. Most Grand Thefts will be charged as felonies and consequently punished at a harsher degree.

Any offense that does not fall under CPC 487, and/or is under $400 will be charged as a petty offense (California Penal Code 488). Petty Offenses are generally misdemeanors and will be sentenced at a lower end of the spectrum depending on the specific facts of the case.

If you have been charged with a theft offense under the California Penal Code let our experienced Criminal attorneys help you with your case. After thirty years of experience in courtrooms all over Southern California, Hoffman and Associates will carefully study all the specific facts of your case and prepare a strategic defense to ensure the best results. Our goal from the beginning of the case through to its completion is to make sure you feel confident in our defense and are satisfied at all stages of your case. Let our team of skilled attorneys provide you with the help you need.