California Penal Code 484
Charged with a petty theft?
Section 484 of the California Penal Code (PC) defines the criminal offense of petty theft. Under the statute, an individual is guilty of petty theft when they steal or take another's property and deprive another of potential enjoyment or value of that property for any amount of time. Additionally, PC 484 is reserved for crimes in which the value of property is $950 or less. Stolen property that is valued at more than $950 or cases that involve firearms, livestock, or vehicles may subject individuals to more serious theft crime charges.
In order to prove than an individual is guilty of petty theft, law enforcement officers and / or prosecutors must prove that the defendant knowingly deprived another of the enjoyment or value of their property. Focusing on this legal element is essential because some prosecutors may permit defendants to return property in order to avoid criminal repercussions.