Theft Charges Costa Mesa

If you have been charged with Petty Theft in Costa Mesa for shoplifting or stealing the property of another person, you should contact Team Petty Theft Costa Mesa to get in touch with a law firm that works with a team of professionals on the matter and that knows how to handle those particular kinds of Petty Theft charges.

In Costa Mesa, theft is divided into two degrees, grand theft and petty theft. Petty theft is usually committed when someone takes someone’s property without permission, and the value of the property does not exceed $950. In fact, for petty theft, the property taken can be of any value, no matter how slight.

Petty Theft Lawyer in Costa Mesa

First, let Petty Theft Lawyers in Costa Mesa give you the relevant law. The relevant portion of the law that is applicable to Petty Theft in Costa Mesa is summarized below. However, the full text of the Petty Theft laws in Costa Mesa can be found in California Penal Code Sections 484 and 488.

To prove that the defendant is guilty of petty theft, the Prosecutor must prove that:

  1. The defendant took possession of property owned by someone else;
  2. The defendant took the property without the owner's consent;
  3. When the defendant took the property he intended to deprive the owner of it permanently (or to remove it from the owner's possession for so extended a period of time that the owner would be deprived of a major portion of the value or enjoyment of the property);
  4. AND
  5. The defendant moved the property, even a small distance, and kept it for any period of time, however brief.

Additionally, a Petty Theft charge in Costa Mesa may result from embezzlement, theft by fraudulent entrustment, or theft by false representation. In those cases, although the owner allows someone else to use his property, there is some lie or dishonesty which invalidates the owner’s consent.

The Petty Theft laws in Costa Mesa can be confusing to a defendant charged with a crime. Team Petty Theft Costa Mesa knows the ins and outs of these particular criminal charges and we may be able to help you get your case dismissed or lowered to a lesser offense.

Penalties for Petty Theft in Costa Mesa

Circumstances may allow the Prosecutor to charge you with Grand Theft, rather than Petty Theft. These circumstances include that the value of the property exceeds $950, the property is taken from another person’s body, or the property is taken from a vehicle. Also, taking some types of property is usually charged as Grand Theft, such as guns, crops, or farm animals.

Team Petty Theft Costa Mesa may be able to show that your Felony Grand Theft charge should be reduced to a Misdemeanor or Infraction Petty Theft charge. Call today for a free and confidential initial consultation. We can go over the facts of your case and help you understand the possible outcomes, and possible strategies for successfully getting your case reduced or dismissed.

How can Team Petty Theft Costa Mesa help you win your case?

Petty Theft in Costa Mesa - Possible Outcomes

Petty theft is generally a misdemeanor, punishable by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or both. (CPC 490.) However, if the value of the property is less than $50, your case may be lowered to an infraction, which is not a crime. Team Petty Theft Costa Mesa aggressively challenges any valuation of the property. If we can get a court to agree that the value of the property is less than $50, then the maximum fine you face is $250 and you cannot go to jail. (CPC 490.1.)

As detailed below, your case may be reduced to a lower crime, or your case may be dismissed.

Petty Theft Legal Defenses in Costa Mesa

Petty Theft Costa Mesa knows the defenses that may help get your Petty Theft charge dismissed. There are a number of defenses to Petty theft in Costa Mesa, however the applicability of those defenses depends on the facts of your case.

1. Right to Take Property
For instance, you may have believed that you had a right to take the property. That is a defense in your case that may get your Petty Theft charge dismissed. (If a person actually believes that he or she has a right to the property even if that belief is mistaken or unreasonable, such belief is a defense to theft.) However, you can not assert this defense if the proerty being taken was concealed either before or after the taking.

2. No Intent to keep the property
One common defense is that you had no intent to keep the property. If you found lost, mislaid, or abandoned property then that is a defense to your Petty Theft charge in Costa Mesa. Also, if you innocently forgot to pay for an item in a store then that is a defense in your case.

3. Another common defense is that the police did something wrong while investigating your case. For instance, if the Officer who stopped you did not have reasonable suspicion to stop and detain you then Petty Theft Costa Mesa may be able to get your case dismissed. Also, if you were detained by Officers who used an unreasonable amount of force then that may be a defense in your case.

4. Interest in the Property

Another defense may be that you do in fact own an interest in the property. Husbands and wives may have property disputes, however if the property taken is community property then there may be a defense in your case.

Also, if you have been charged with multiple counts of Petty Theft, we may be able to get all of your charges consolidated into one charge, with one penalty.

Petty Theft Reduced Charges in Costa Mesa

When the prosecution case is strong, sometimes the best tactic is to try to work out a plea deal with the Prosecutor. Petty Theft Costa Mesa may be able to help you get your petty theft charge reduced to a lesser charge, perhaps even an infraction.

Team Petty Theft Costa Mesa may be able to get your Petty Theft charge, and the Petty Theft penalties reduced to those penalties associated with: Attempted Theft, Taking an Automobile Without Consent, Auto Tampering, or Misdemeanor Joyriding of Bicycle, Motorboat, or Vessel.

If you have no prior theft convictions, Petty Theft Costa Mesa may be able to get your Petty Theft charge reduced to an infraction for Petty Theft Under $50. In such a case, your penalty cannot include jail time and the maximum fine is $250. (CPC 490.1.)

Petty Theft Prior Convictions in Costa Mesa

If you have prior convictions for theft, then you may face increased penalties in your current Petty Theft case. Petty Theft Costa Mesa aggressively challenges any prior convictions. For instance, if your prior theft conviction occurred more than 10 years ago, or if it occurred in another state, then we may be able to get those prior convictions stricken. If we can successfully strike your prior convictions, then you will only face 1st time Petty Theft penalties. Call Team Petty Theft Costa Mesa today to see how your prior convictions may impact your current Petty Theft charge.

What Should I do about a Petty Theft charge in Costa Mesa?

Contact Team Petty Theft Costa Mesa today for a free and confidential consultation regarding your case. We will look at your personal history and the facts surrounding the charges against you, and then we can discuss possible outcomes with you at no cost.