Although fraud is used to obtain the property in both theft by trick and theft by false pretense, in theft by false pretense, the thief obtains both possession and title to the property. For theft by trick, the thief gains only possession of the property.
In many of these cases, the defendant is accused of obtaining the owner’s consent to use the property for a specified purpose while intending to use it in a different way that constitutes fraud or deceit. Depending on the value of the property stolen, the crime of theft by trick can be charged as either a felony offense for grand theft or a misdemeanor offense for petty theft.
Attorney for Theft by Trick in San Francisco, CA
If you have been charged with theft by trick under Penal Code § 484, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in San Francisco, CA, at Ticket Crushers. We represent clients on a wide variety of theft and extortion cases throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area.
Call us at 1 (866) 842-5384 to discuss your case and possible defenses today.
Elements of Theft by Trick under Section 484
Under Penal Code § 484, the crime of theft by trick in violation of California Penal Code Section 484 can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The elements of the crime include proof that:
- The defendant obtained property that he or she knew was owned by someone else
- The property owner consented to the defendant’s possession of the property because the defendant used fraud or deceit
- When the defendant obtained the property, he or she 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
- The defendant kept the property for any length of time, and
- The owner did not intend to transfer ownership of the property
The statutory scheme for fraud defines the term “agent” to mean “someone to whom the owner has given complete or partial authority and control over the owner’s property.” The standard jury instructions for theft by trick under Penal Code § 484 can be found at Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instruction 1805.
Distinguishing between Theft by Trick and Theft by False Pretense
Although fraud is used to obtain the property in both theft by trick and theft by false pretense, in theft by false pretense, the thief obtains both possession and title to the property. For theft by trick, the thief gains only possession of the property. See People v. Ashley. 42 Cal.2d 246, 258 (1954).
False pretenses does not require that the title pass perfectly and the victim may even retain a security interest in the property transferred to the defendant. See People v. Counts, 31 Cal.App.4th 785, 789–792 (1995).
Finding an Attorney for Theft by Trick in San Francisco, CA
If you were charged with theft by trick in San Francisco, CA, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Ticket Crushers. We represent clients after an arrest by an officer with the San Francisco Police Department.
Our offices are conveniently located on Geary Boulevard near Park Presidio in San Francisco, CA. We represent clients charged with theft crimes throughout the City of San Francisco and the surrounding areas, including Alameda County, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, and Contra Costa County, CA.
For theft cases prosecuted in the Hall of Justice Building, the qualified attorneys at Ticket Crushers provide an aggressive defense to the charges. Call 1 (866) 842-5384 to discuss the case today.