Articles Posted in Theft Offenses

This week Lindsay Lohan pleaded no contest to her Theft Case pending before the Criminal Judge in Los Angeles. The judge has already sentenced Lohan to 120 days in jail regarding her probation violation. She will likely serve about two weeks for the petty theft charge and probation officials may allow her to serve the time at home wearing an electronic surveillance bracelet.

A no contest plea, Nolo Contendere in Latin, essentially means “I do not wish to contend” the charges. It states that the defendant does not plead guilty to the charge, but doesn’t wish to dispute it either. It carries with it the same consequences as a guilty plea, but the charge may not later be used against the defendant in any civil proceedings. With a no contest plea, the person charged is subject to any and all penalties that may come with a guilty plea, including fines, jail time, and probation.

The option of pleading No Contest is available to all defendants. Many times it comes as part of a plea bargain. An experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney can discuss the facts of your case and your concerns to help determine whether no contest is a plea you should consider.

Lindsay Lohan was charged with a Los Angeles Grand Theft charge in January 2011. Grand Theft in California is charged under California Penal Code §487 and is filed a felony. It will be a grand theft charge anytime the item, or property stolen is valued over $950.

The penalty as established by legislation for a grant theft conviction may or may not include jail time, a fine and/or community service. Generally probation is a part of the sentence. The range for a potential sentence will differ for each person that is charged, based on their criminal history and the specific facts surrounding their case.

The good thing is that in California a grand theft charge is a “wobbler”. A “wobbler” is a charge that can be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony. Whether it is filed as a felony or misdemeanor will depend on the facts of the case and the background of the person being charged. The government will look to see if a person has any enhancements that will favor a felony charge over a misdemeanor. Enhancements are factors that may warrant prosecution to propose a higher penalty. These factors include multiple similar charges in the person’s criminal history, or the value of the time stolen is extremely high (65,000 or higher). If a person is a habitual offender, or is on probation at the time of the charge, chances are the government will want to take it seriously and file it as a felony.

Actress Lindsay Lohan appeared before the Judge in Los Angeles on February 9, 2011 regarding her Grand Theft case. Lohan is being charged with allegedly stealing a $2,500 necklace from a local jeweler. The 24 year old claims the necklace was lent to her by the store.

Lohan is considering the possibility of a plea bargain in exchange for no jail time. In a plea bargain, you are asked to plead guilty in exchange for a reduced charge, or sentence. You do not have the option to plead not guilty, or no contest.

A plea bargain is often an option for everyone in a Los Angeles Grand Theft case. However, it may not always be the best choice. If you have a strong case against Prosecution, you might want to argue the case, rather than accept a plea of guilty. A Los Angeles Grand Theft attorney can guide you by explaining to you the strength of your case and possible defenses. Then you can make an informed decision.

Lindsay Lohan is being accused of stealing a $2,500 necklace from a store in Venice Beach. Investigators claim they have surveillance footage of the 24 year old actress wearing the necklace inside the store shortly before it was discovered missing. A search warrant was obtained to search Lohan’s home, but the necklace was returned by an associate before authorities got a chance to present the warrant. Sources of the actress defend that she was lent the necklace and her assistant failed to return it on time.

Theft is defined as the unlawful stealing, taking, or carrying away of the personal property of another. When the item in question is valued over $950, it is considered Grand Theft and is regulated by California Penal Code §487. If charged, Lohan could potentially be facing a Grand Theft conviction.

Grand theft in the state of California is a wobbler. A wobbler is a charge that can be filed as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on several factors. Prosecution will look at your criminal history and the specific facts and circumstances of the case.

When a person is caught using or forging a fraudulent ID a person can be charged under the California Penal Code 470a. This is a serious charge and can lead to potential jail time, fines, community service and probation. In an attempt to curb the growing numbers of violations, the California legislature has required a new driver’s license be issued to all residents renewing their licenses or getting a brand new one.

The new licenses feature hidden pictures, raised lettering and a see through state bear symbol. Additionally, all people under 21 will have a license that is vertical as opposed to the current horizontal card. This will make it easier for bartenders, bouncers and waitresses to quickly determine those that are underage. This will also help reduce the number of underage drinking arrests made.

With the new licenses it will become progressively harder and more difficult to create fraudulent cards. Consequently, prosecution will have a much easier time proving their case. An experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney has handled Identity Theft cases for years and is extensively familiar with the law. Even with the new laws in place, the right attorney can make a powerful argument on your behalf so that you can have your case reduced or dismissed.

There are many different categories of charges that are considered theft under the California Penal Code. Similarly, there are many different acts that will constitute Identity Theft. The Judge and Prosecution will consider two major aspects of the facts to determine the consequence of the charge. An experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney, such as those at Hoffman and Associates, have seen thousands of Identity Theft cases and are familiar with the many different scenarios and defenses they entail. They are able to present a powerful argument focused on the two major components of an Identity Theft charge.

The first major aspect of the facts that will be considered is what it was that was stolen using the identity. Did the person use a stolen credit card to buy diapers for their baby in the amount of $20? Or did they take a $5,000 trip to Tahiti? When the value of the stolen item is over $400, it becomes a much more serious case and is generally tried as a felony. When the value is lower than $400, it falls at the lower end of the spectrum and is tried as a misdemeanor.

The second factor assessed by the court will be the manner in which the Identity was stolen. For example, were credit cards taken from a wallet, or did someone hack into personal secured information on a computer? The focus will be on the how sophisticated or amateur the act was.

The purpose of this blog is to bring to attention of the reader, the many different forms of theft with which a person can be charged with in Los Angeles. It is common for people to oversimplify theft as just stealing. However, the California Penal Code breaks down a theft charge into subcategories, each with the potential to be a misdemeanor or felony with varying potential consequences.

Some of our clients are charged with theft when stealing personal property, or because they refuse to return property that has been entrusted to them. Other clients of Hoffman and Associates have been charged with theft when an identification card or credit card has been falsely used or without authorization. A person can also be charged with theft when they intentionally misrepresent their actual identity to someone with authority when asked to provide identification.

Our team of highly skilled lawyers also represents clients who have been charged with theft in the form of embezzlement. Embezzlement is when a person in a position of trust uses that trust to exploit resources. Additionally, theft may be committed when a person or company collects payment to complete a service or purchase equipment but fails to use it for the hired purpose.

Our clients who have been charged with a Southern California theft offense face a range of potential consequences. They will be sentenced along a spectrum of penalties ranging from time in jail, to community service, to a fine depending. Where they land on the scale depends on the specific facts of the case and the value of the object stolen.

A theft offense will be charged as Grand Theft when the value of the merchandise stolen is over $400. For cases involving the theft of a firearm, potential consequences can range between 16 months imprisonment in state prison up to 3 years. (California Penal Code 489). For all other cases involving Grand Theft, the penalty will be up to one year in county jail or state prison.

A Southern California theft offense in which the value is under $400 will be charged as petty theft. Petty theft will be punished by a fine up to $1000, or up to 6 months in county jail, or both (California Penal Code 490).

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.

Contact Information