The county of Ventura in Southern California records about 32 crimes per one thousand residents. In 2019, there were approximately 2,362 theft cases in the county. Those numbers went down by a small margin in 2020, perhaps because of the pandemic.
However, there is no denying that criminal offense is a significant issue in this part of the USA. If you are charged with theft, it is best to call a Ventura Criminal Defense Lawyer as soon as possible.
They will take care of the legal procedures and defend you using a variety of strategies. These include mistaken identity, necessity, false accusation, and outright coercion. However, it would also be helpful to know the various types of theft crimes in California.
Common theft crimes
Under Penal Code Section 484 of the California law, theft is defined as the willful taking, stealing, carrying, and driving away of someone’s property without their consent. They are divided into two basic types: petty and grand theft. However, some cases might fall outside these two categories.
Petty theft is covered under Penal Code 484(a). It is defined as stealing or taking someone’s property whose value is $950 or less by trick, embezzlement, theft, or pretense. The punishment in such cases is fines, probation, restitution, or six months in Ventura county jail.
Grand theft is defined as those cases where the overall value of the property was over $950. It is dealt with Penal Code 487. Since it is a misdemeanor, you could be charged a year in county jail or fined up to $1000. If you are convicted, the jail sentence will be increased to 3 years, along with a fine of $10000.
Robbery is defined by Penal Code 211. It is a severe offense and will attract a harsh punishment. The law defines robbery as stealing someone’s property in their presence through intimidation or force.
There are two types: first-degree and second-degree. In first-degree cases, robbery is done on a bus, ATM, subway, home, and public space or transport. The penalty for these is six years in prison and a fine of $10000. All others are categorized as second-degree. They receive a punishment of two, three, or five years in jail and a fine of $10000.
Burglary is covered under Penal Code 459. It involves entering a commercial or residential structure to steal. Even if the theft is unsuccessful, it will be considered a felony.
Just like robberies, they can be categorized into first and second-degree. When the thief enters a house, it becomes a first-degree burglary. If it’s a commercial property, it falls under the second degree. Stealing vehicles is an auto burglary and is also covered by the same code mentioned above.
White-collar crime refers to any non-violent crime committed by working professionals. The motivation behind them is primarily financial. Some of the crimes covered under them are embezzlement (Penal Code 503), identity theft (Penal Code 530.5), fraud (Penal Code 532), and money laundering (Penal Code 186). All crimes of this nature are regarded as felonies and attract a variety of punishments.
Regardless of the type of theft you’ve been charged with, your first step should be to call an experienced and reliable Ventura Criminal Defense Lawyer. Never speak to the authorities without your attorney present. Your attorney will fight your case vigorously and do everything possible to get you the best possible outcome based on your circumstances.