Theft crimes range from felonies like grand theft to misdemeanors, like shoplifting. The common elements are the taking of someone else’s property without the intent of returning it. A lot of theft charges were reduced to misdemeanors by Prop 47.
Theft related charges often include burglary, which is the entering of a building with the intent to commit a theft or commit another felony. There are two kinds of burglary: Commercial burglary, entry of a commercial building, which is a misdemeanor; and Residential burglary, entry of someone’s house, which is a felony.
Most people are arrested for theft crimes either because they were apprehended by a store security guard or based on the accusation of a private citizen. There is often video and eyewitness evidence of the crime. It’s important to have a lawyer who will obtain the video and review it to make sure it shows what they say it shows.
If you’ve been arrested for theft by a retail store, they may send you a letter telling you you owe them an outrageous amount of money – even if the goods were recovered – based on their ‘loss prevention efforts’.
DO NOT pay this.
It has nothing to do with your criminal case. Paying it WILL NEVER result in a dismissal of the criminal case. It may be that we can negotiate a dismissal of misdemeanor charges in exchange for a payment to the store in a process called a civil compromise. This can’t be done if you’ve already paid their extortion.
Every theft case is different. I’ve been successfully defending and developing strategies to successfully defend theft cases for over 17 years.
I know what’s at stake for you, and I will use all my skills to make sure you beat the theft charges.