Grand theft involves the theft of property valued at more than $950 under Section 487 of the California Penal Code. The California Legislature has also created a number of crimes that are classified as grand theft because of the type of property stolen, regardless of the value of the property. For example, the theft of any automobile, livestock, or a firearm, no matter its value, can be charged as a grand theft in California.
The crime of grand theft in California can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor under Section 487 of the California Penal Code. A felony grand theft conviction is punishable by up to three years in prison or jail. A misdemeanor grand theft conviction is punishable by up to one year in jail. The penalty can be increased for a number of different reasons, including a prior theft conviction, committing an act of violence, or destroying property during the commission of the crime.
By way of comparison, petty theft is charged as a misdemeanor offense under California Penal Code Sections 484 and 488. Petty theft occurs if the property stolen was valued at $950 or less. Thefts involving a taking of anything valued at $950 or more will be Grand Theft, which can be charged as a felony.
If you are convicted of petty theft, the crime is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for up to six months plus fines, fees and restitution under California Penal Code Section 490. A conviction for petty theft is also considered a crime of moral turpitude or a crime of dishonesty, which can affect sentencing issues and can cause other collateral consequences.
Attorney for Grand Theft in San Francisco, CA
If you were charged with grand theft under Section 487 of the California Penal Code, either as a felony or a misdemeanor, then contact a criminal defense attorney at Ticket Crushers to discuss your case. Our offices are located on Geary Boulevard near Park Presidio in San Francisco, CA. We serve clients throughout the City of San Francisco and the surrounding areas, including Alameda County, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, and Contra Costa County, CA.
At Ticket Crushers, our San Francisco attorneys fight theft cases in the Hall of Justice Building in San Francisco, CA.
Definition of Grand Theft in California
California law, in Penal Code § 487, defines the term “grand theft” as “the unlawful taking of property belonging to another when the property is valued at nine hundred fifty dollars ($950) or more.”
Different ways of proving grand theft involve any of the following:
- Grand Theft by Larceny
- Grand Theft by False Pretense
- Grand Theft by Trick
- Grand Theft by Embezzlement
Penalties for a Conviction for Grand Theft
Under Penal Code § 487, the crime of grand theft is considered to be a “wobbler,” which can be punished as either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the following factors:
- The circumstances of the case, and
- The prior criminal record of the accused
If you are convicted of grand theft as a misdemeanor, then the statutory maximum penalties include:
- Up to one year in a county jail, and
- Up to a $1,000 fine
If you are convicted of grand theft as a felony, then the statutory maximum penalties include:
- Up to 16 months, two years, or three years in state prison, and
- Up to a $10,000 fine
The potential penalties can also be enhanced depending on the value of the property stolen. The sentencing enhancements for higher valued property include:
- One year if the property was worth more $65,000
- Two years if the property was worth more than $200,000
- Three years if the property was worth more than $1,300,000
- Four years if the property was worth more than $3,200,000
In some cases, the court will aggregate the loss if the theft was committed as part of a common scheme or plan. Although grand theft usually involves an allegation of larceny, it can also involve allegations of false pretense, trick, embezzlement, or extortion.
Finding an Attorney for Grand Theft in San Francisco, CA
If you were charged with any felony or misdemeanor offense for grand theft in San Francisco, CA, under Section 487 of the California Penal Code involving stealing property worth $950 or more, then contact a criminal defense attorney at Ticket Crushers. Our offices are conveniently located near Park Presidio on Geary Boulevard in San Francisco, CA.
Our San Francisco theft attorneys serve clients throughout the county of San Francisco and the surrounding areas, including Alameda County, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, and Contra Costa County, CA.
Related offenses include grand theft auto under California Penal Code (PC) § 487(d)(1), robbery under PC § 211, burglary under PC § 459, assault with a deadly weapon under PC § 245(a)(1), and trespass under PC § 602.
The San Francisco criminal defense attorneys at Ticket Crushers fight grand theft cases in the Hall of Justice Building located at 850 Bryant Street. We represent clients at all stages of the theft case, including arraignments, preliminary hearings, motion hearings, probation violation hearings, and trials. Call Ticket Crushers at 1 (866) 842-5384 today to discuss your case.