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Theft Crimes

Los Angeles Theft Crimes Attorney

A theft crime is the act of taking another person's property or money without their permission. A theft offense can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony crime, depending on the type of items stolen, the value of the property, and the criminal history of the defendant.

A theft offense that involves the Internet crossing state lines can be charged as a federal crime in addition to a state crime. If you have been charged with a theft crime, you need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to review your case and file a motion to reduce your charge from a felony to a misdemeanor pursuant to California Penal Code 17(b).

Petty Theft / Shoplifting

In California, petty theft under California Penal Code 484 PC is one of the most common theft crimes, normally associated with shoplifting. This is charged when the value of the property taken is under $400. Usually, a petty theft first offense is punishable by only a small fine and informal probation.

A first offense can even be reduced to an infraction, which would eliminate any criminal record. Any subsequent offense can be charged as a felony theft crime, commonly known as petty theft with a prior, which is punishable with one year in the county jail or state prison time.

Grand Theft

Grand theft under Penal Code 487 PC is charged when the property is taken without the owner's permission and the value is over $400. It is normally charged as a felony offense but could be charged as a misdemeanor crime.

If you are convicted of a grand theft felony offense, you could receive state prison time, large fines, restitution, probation or parole, court-ordered counseling, and community service. Any type of theft crime conviction can be used to increase future sentences if you are convicted of another theft crime in the future.


Under California Penal Code 459 PC, burglary is defined as the act of entering a building with the specific intent of stealing property. Normally, burglary is charged as a felony offense and is considered a “strike” under California's Three Strikes law.

If you are being charged with any type of theft-related crime in Los Angeles County, you should contact one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys. These types of offenses can carry severe penalties ranging from fines and restitution to jail or prison time, depending on the seriousness of the infraction.

A key factor in defending clients in a theft crime case is to make all attempts to avoid a conviction that can be used against them later by a potential employer. The attorneys at Cron, Israels & Stark defend people throughout Los Angeles County and San Fernando Valley against all types of theft crime charges. Penal Code 460 PC defines first-degree residential burglary.

Forgery Law in California  - Penal Code 470 PC 

Forgery under California Penal Code 470 is defined as creating or altering a written document to commit fraud. This is done so you can present a document for your own benefit to defraud another of money, interest in property, or legal rights.

Essentially you are creating a counterfeit with the intent of injury or damage of some sort to another party. This is considered a white-collar theft crime in California. Forgery is committed without authorization or the knowledge of the party being defrauded.

Many people believe forgery is merely the signing of another's name, but it also includes the altering, corrupting, creating, or publishing of a document intended to defraud.

Identity Theft Law in California - Penal Code 530.5 PC

Identity theft under California Penal Code 530.5 PC is a criminal act of stealing the identity of another person in order to steal money or commit a fraud crime.

This is usually accomplished by stealing some form of information that belongs to the victim, such as a birth certificate, identification card, driver's license, social security card, insurance information, banking information, credit card, passport, or other types of information related to the person's identity.

It is also possible to steal a person's identity over the internet.

Identity theft is a serious theft crime and can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony crime in California under federal law. The punishment for identity theft can result in a federal sentence of 5 to 30 years in federal prison.

You will also receive a permanent mark on your criminal record. If you have been arrested for identity theft or are under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation or police for identity theft or any related fraudulent activity, you will need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side.

Money Laundering Law in California - Penal Code 186.10 PC

Money laundering is a very serious crime. It is defined as transferring money obtained from almost any criminal activity and then disguising the funds by using a legal or seemingly legal means to hide the source of the money.

To fight this crime, it is vital to have a criminal defense attorney who has experience and understanding of your legal rights and options.

Due to such an increase in this type of offense in recent years, money laundering is a crime that is fiercely prosecuted because of the deception and fraud involved. Stakes are high, and the government will aggressively pursue a conviction.

Insurance Fraud Laws in California - Penal Code 550 PC

If you falsify information related to any type of insurance under Penal Code 550 PC, which results in you obtaining payments that you are not entitled to, you can be prosecuted for insurance fraud, which can come in many forms, including:

  • Worker's Compensation Fraud
  • Auto Insurance Fraud
  • Property Insurance Fraud
  • Homeowners Insurance Fraud
  • Health Insurance Fraud
  • Life Insurance Fraud
  • Faking an accident to receive money
  • Falsely stating that a vehicle was stolen to collect monetary compensation
  • Falsifying a personal physical injury to collect money

Different branches within a company's department of insurance, such as the fraud division, work with state and federal authorities to investigate individuals who are suspected of insurance fraud.

The penalties associated with the theft crime of an insurance fraud conviction are severe, and depending upon the specific details of your case, you may be prosecuted at both the State and Federal levels.

In addition to insurance fraud criminal charges being filed against you, the insurance company could also file a civil lawsuit against you under RICO (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act).

Organized Fraud

Organized fraud is defined as fraud committed by an organized group, be it a small or large company or non-profit organization, in order to steal from unsuspecting individuals.

These types of white collar crime charges carry severe penalties and will normally be investigated by federal agencies such as the FBI, IRS and SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission). The crime of fraud is defined as deceiving another individual or individuals for financial profit. A few types of organized fraud include:

  • Get Rich Quick Schemes
  • Phishing (obtaining of sensitive personal information such as user name and passwords)
  • Bank Fraud
  • Investment Fraud
  • Money Laundering
  • Wire Fraud
  • Insurance Fraud
  • Counterfeiting
  • Credit Card Fraud
  • Over billing
  • Using donations for activities other than promised

Common Theft Offenses

There are some crimes in California when a prosecutor has the discretion to file the case as either a misdemeanor or felony misdemeanor crime – commonly known as a “wobbler.” Our criminal defense lawyers will fight aggressively to protect your rights. Our firm will thoroughly investigate the allegations and evidence brought against you to find weaknesses in the case. Any rights violations can be challenged as part of a strategic defense. This can allow us to take immediate action in an attempt to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed.

We help clients facing all types of theft charges, including:

Charged with a Theft Offense in California?

If you or a member of your family are under investigation or have already been arrested for any type of theft offense, you will need to immediately consult with a criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with defending these types of cases.

We know how to aggressively pursue every opportunity to seek a lesser charge or a dismissal. If you are convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, you could be facing serious collateral consequences, such as deportation or loss of a professional license.

Early intervention by our law firm can make a big difference in the outcome of your case.

Our legal team will thoroughly examine all the evidence against you in order to build a strong defense. If necessary, we can also seek a bail reduction in your case.

A conviction on a theft charge can result in long-term consequences in your life. The resulting criminal record can follow you for years, making it difficult for you to get a job, hold certain professional licenses, and apply for credit, among other things. You may be eligible for alternative sentencing rather than spending time in jail.

Contact our office today to discuss your case with one of our defense attorneys. At Cron, Israels & Stark, we are committed to helping you reach the most favorable outcome in your case.

We have successfully handled countless theft crime cases for our clients because of our dedication and commitment to each case we handle. We offer an immediate consultation with a lawyer to discuss the details of your situation.

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