There are many different types of crime, and one of the most diverse types of crime is that of Theft. Whether a violation of California Penal Code (CPC) 484/488
If you or a loved one have been accused of burglary, what you do next can be critical. Being charged with burglary as a misdemeanor can be downright frightening. If the burglary is charged as a felony it can be even worse. You should be armed with all the information to understand the charges against you and what you must do to protect your rights in the criminal justice system.
It is important to understand what burglary is. The simple definition is “entering of a structure with the intent to commit larceny or any a felony.” The State of California defines burglary in Penal Code § 459-460 which therein lists the various types of burglaries those being either 1st or 2nd degree. Depending on the type of building you entered will determine the degree of burglary as to either 1st or 2nd degree. The crime of 1st degree burglary is always charged as a felony whereas 2nd degree burglary can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the prosecutor’s discretion. Often referred to as "breaking and entering," you can be charged with burglary even though there is no forced entry.
The penalty or punishment for burglary will vary depending how the crime is charged. The crime of 1st degree burglary carries a punishment range of 2, 4 or 6 years in the State Prison, whereas 2nd degree burglary carries a punishment or 1 year in the county jail or 16 months, 2 or 3 years in the State Prison which will be served in the county jail pursuant to Penal Code § 1170(h).
Due to the various legal technicalities and difficulties of proof, prosecutors often settle cases for lesser charges or than burglary. As with any crime, if you are charged with burglary, it is important that you do not make any statements or answer any questions before you speak with a criminal defense attorney. Any statements you make can be used against you when the case goes to court. It is imperative that you are calm, cool and collected, as well as polite to the police. Oftentimes, your interview will be taped, so it is important that you speak clearly and with confidence in your voice.
You need an attorney who is familiar with California Statutes and laws regarding burglary. In addition, you want an attorney who is experienced within the courtroom. Your attorney should conduct an investigation and request all records and any evidence from the prosecutor. Evidence in the case must be collected in accordance with strict legal rulings and laws. If this did not happen in your case, your attorney may request the evidence to be excluded from being used against you at trial. Make sure that you follow all of the advice and guidance that your burglary attorney gives you. With careful planning, you may be able to avoid a prison sentence and have a new life ahead of you without the fear of having a felony hanging over your head.
If you or a loved one have been arrested or charged with the crime of burglary, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney. Call The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian at (855) 918-4253 today to set up a free consultation with an attorney who can give you clear and concise information about your rights.
Petty theft at first glance seems to infer a crime that is equivalent to jaywalking and littering which would be punishable with a small fine or a crime that could go unnoticed by law enforcement. This delineation may be the result of the name of the crime: “Petty Theft.” The word “petty” implies that the crime is so trivial as to not warrant any serious consequences and/or punishment by the court; that law enforcement would be focused on more serious crimes. There is a cultural misconception where a “petty” crime may be seen as unimportant and insignificant where people would steal unafraid of any serious repercussions. Petty theft, however, is a serious crime that should not be taken lightly and can have serious consequences and repercussions to one’s future.
PETTY THEFT and THEFT DEFINED
California Penal Code 484 and 488 define petty theft as when a person has (1) committed the crime of theft and (2) that the property was valued at $950 or less. In order to be guilty of theft a person must have intended to permanently or temporarily deprive another out of the use and enjoyment of their property, or defraud another out of land or services. If convicted, petty theft is punishable by fine not exceeding $1000, or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months or both. If the property was valued over $950, then the person may be charged with grand theft.
If a person is convicted of petty theft of property that is valued under $50, then the California Penal Code 490 states the person may be charged as a misdemeanor or infraction by the prosecutor and fined up to $250.
PETTY THEFT WITH A PRIOR
California Penal Code 666, also known as “Petty Theft with a Prior,” allows prosecutors to charge any person who has been convicted three or more times of petty theft or has been convicted of theft crimes set forth in this section and served at least 1 day in jail as a felony. Punishment for this crime could be up to one year in a county jail or 16 months, or 2 to 3 years in State Prison (served in County Jail) depending on the severity of the crime.
Serious consequences can disrupt a person’s life other than fines or jail time if convicted of petty theft. In Forero-Arias v. Mukasey, the court described petty theft as a “crime of moral turpitude.” The consequences of a petty theft conviction could automatically disqualify a person from certain employment, college acceptance, or anything that requires a background check which further enhances the fact that petty theft is a serious crime. However, there are defenses to petty theft if charged.
DEFENSES TO PETTY THEFT
- Lack of “Specific Intent”: The person did not intend to steal the item, but rather it was a mistake.
- Permission- the person had permission to take the item, in which there would be no theft.
- Framed- the person was wrongly accused of the crime for someone else’s actions.
Do not take any petty theft issue lightly. If you have been arrested, cited, or detained for petty theft it is important that you regard this as a serious issue. It is imperative that you receive competent legal advice immediately. After being arrested, cited, or detained call The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian at (714) 336-5303 today to set up a free consultation with an attorney who can give you clear and concise information about your rights.
Recent figures from the National Crime Prevention Council show that approximately 25% of all shoplifters – which is about 27 million- are between the ages of 13 and 17. That means that over 6,750,000 young people are involved in a serious crime. While society may not look upon it as such, it is a misconception that shoplifting is an insignificant thing; almost a rite of passage with some groups and cliques. As parents, and as a nation, we are usually focused on “more serious” issues such as drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling etc. Many times, shoplifting is not seen as a terribly serious problem.
In a survey published by The Josephson Institute of Ethics, research showed that one in three boys and one in four girls admitted shoplifting in the past year. If your child has admitted to shoplifting, should you be concerned? Yes, very concerned. Over 30 per cent of prisoners report that they started their criminal careers with some form of shoplifting. If convicted of shoplifting, the least your child may have to do is pay fines or do community service. There is a good chance he or she could be sentenced to a detention facility, juvenile hall or even jail.
Shoplifting can have even more serious consequences than you might realize. Many universities and colleges do background checks these days, which might prevent your child from being accepted to where they really want to attend college. A conviction of shoplifting on your record can prevent many employers from hiring you. Even if it’s a sealed juvenile record, you may find a more limited choice of what jobs may be available to you.
Teach your children how to stand up to peer pressure and comprehend how they may jeopardize their future if they shoplift. Instruct your children about the consequences of shoplifting. Make sure that they understand that a choice they make in an instant or on a dare ca result in horrible lifelong consequences.
If you or your child have been detained for shoplifting, do not just plead guilty, thinking you will receive just a “slap on the wrist”. It is imperative that you receive competent legal advice. Immediately after being detained or arrested, call The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian at (714) 336-5303 today to set up a free consultation with an attorney who can give you clear and concise information about your rights.