Santa Ana Grand Theft Defense Lawyer
The City of Santa Ana has seen its fair share of arrests for theft, and many of these are being aggressively prosecuted as grand theft. If you’re a Santa Ana resident who has been charged with the crime of theft, you will need to speak with Orange County criminal defense attorney Lauren K. Johnson to defend your rights.
Grand theft involves the unlawful taking of another's property valued at more than $950; however, this can be committed in a number of situations. There is grand theft larceny, which is the unlawful carrying away of another's property; grand theft embezzlement, which is the unlawful taking of something from another that was entrusted to them; grand theft by trick, which is by tricking or deceiving someone into turning over possession of his or her property for a stated purpose; or grand theft through false pretenses, such as making false representations to defraud another out of possession and ownership of property.
Sometimes grand theft involves any number of related offenses involving burglary, robbery, forgery, auto theft or receiving stolen property. However, an experienced Santa Ana grand theft defense attorney like Lauren K. Johnson will tell you that a jury doesn't have to agree on which type of grand theft laws you violated but must only agree that you unlawfully took the property of another. On the other hand, a jury must unanimously agree as to whether you committed grand theft or petty theft, and that could make all the difference as to whether you go to jail or not. If they can't unanimously agree that you committed grand theft, but do agree that you committed a theft, then you will only be convicted of petty theft. One of the most common instances of petty theft is when a person steals merchandise from a store by putting it on themselves, whether that be inside their pockets or in their bag, and exiting the store. Petty theft, in most instances, is usually categorized as a misdemeanor, while grand theft may be charged as a felony. With a misdemeanor for petty theft, the perpetrator may be put on probation and a possible penalty is up to six months in county jail. On the other hand, with grand theft, even if it is charged as a misdemeanor, the penalties are more severe than for petty theft, with up to one year in county jail. If your grand theft charge is charged as a felony, then you could be charged with up to three years in state prison. Clearly, the penalties are very different.
Regardless of the theft charges, there are defenses based on the circumstances. For instance, a common defense for theft is that you did not intend to steal the item. Maybe you mistakenly put it on yourself and walked outside of the store without knowing that it was on you. Another common defense is that the person that took the item had the intentions of giving it back.
If you’ve been charged with any kind of theft offense, call Orange County grand theft defense lawyer Lauren K. Johnson today at (949) 622-5522. She has a proven track record of successfully defending cases of grand theft in Santa Ana.