It is a common assumption that there are only a few types of criminal theft cases under the California Penal Code. However, that is not the case. The California Penal Code describes a plethora of actions that could be classified and charged as theft, including fraud cases. One such fraud case, is when a person obtains money through false pretenses.
For example, a recent client of ours misrepresented to people at her college campus that she had an illness and needed funds for medical treatment. In reality, she was healthy but needed to money to pay her tuition bills. She gathered about $3,000 from 20 people.
Her acts constitute a violation of the California Penal Code and would be filed as a felony due to her conduct as well as the increased amount of money she obtained through false pretenses. If someone is convicted of a felony theft case, they will be looking at increased fines as well as some potential jail time.
Fortunately, there are certain methods that an experienced Los Angeles theft attorney will use to have the potential penalties reduced or the case dismissed altogether. One such method is the use of a civil compromise.
A civil compromise is an agreement between the injured party and the person being charged for reimbursement outside of the order of the court. Considering the previous example, the client agreed to pay back to each person what they had paid her under false pretenses. We negotiated with each person to agree to a civil compromise after our client had paid them the money they had lost. Once each client was fully reimbursed, we met with campus officials to explain that each injured party had reimbursed, stressing that we would like that the matter be resolved without involving the criminal courts.
Through proper evidence and some powerful negotiation, the campus agreed to close the matter and not have a criminal case filed with the District Attorney. This saved our client from incurring high fines, potential jail time, and a mark on her permanent record.
When you have been charged with a theft case, whether it is confined to a lesser institution or if it is before the criminal court, it could result in some serious consequences. There are available defenses as well as some options that could be used to mitigate the damages, or to have your case dismissed. A knowledgeable Southern California criminal defense attorney has handled thousands of theft cases, and can discuss with you the proper steps to take in order to assure your case see results that are most favorable to you. Without consulting an expert, you may accept a charge or be convicted of something you could have a strong chance of fighting and having dismissed.