Petty Theft

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.

PC 484 is most commonly associated with shoplifting, the act of committing petty theft by stealing from a store or other commercial enterprise, although it can arise in a number of other ways. In any case, petty theft is prosecuted as a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to $1,000 in fines, probation, and up to six months imprisonment. Depending on the circumstances and the value of the property stolen, there may be the potential that defendants can reduce their charges or avoid criminal allegations entirely. On the other hand, higher value property and cases in which a defendant has prior convictions can result in harsher penalties.

Contact us to learn more about the charges and penalties you face.

Speak With a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney to Learn More About Your Case

Having spent more than 50 combined years protecting the rights of the criminally accused, our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers have worked with many clients facing petty theft allegations for a variety of reasons. These individuals have all come from different walks of life, some unknowingly committing these offenses and some making momentary lapses of judgment. Regardless of the reasons behind your criminal charge, our firm is here to protect your rights as you navigate your legal journey. If you, a loved one, or someone you care about is currently facing charges under § 484 of the California Penal Code, please do not delay in reaching out to our firm for the support and experienced representation you need.

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