San Bernardino Petty Theft Lawyer
Experienced San Bernardino County Shoplifting Attorney – Affordable & Best Petty Theft Defense Law Firm Getting Your Cases Dropped or Reduced All Over SB Courts
Welcome to an experienced and affordable San Bernardino petty theft lawyer and shoplifting attorney website. Theft crimes abound in any land with the different forms and classifications the law has identified. In San bernardino County, California, it is the unlawful act of possessing another person’s property or belongings without permission or consent from the owner.
Petty Thefts in Various Forms
The California Penal Code 484 and 488 PC states a petty theft has occurred when property less than $950 is taken without the owner’s permission. This is a common occurrence known as “theft by larceny” where small valued items are stolen.
Thefts can happen in various forms which could be classified as petty theft to be charged in Californian courts when arrested.
- Theft by trickery
- An example is the changing of the price tag on the desired item to be bought to a lower price to enjoy more savings unlawfully
- Theft by embezzlement
- This refers to the unlawful taking of valuables entrusted in trustee’s care; usually money which entrusted employees succumb to the temptation of ‘borrowing’ without consent or knowledge from the authority
- Theft by fraud
- This refers to a false pretense or lie given to persuade the owner in letting go of the valuable or property to the fraudster. The story spun is usually very convincing with benefits to the owner that compel the owner to part with the property or valuables.
Shoplifting in California Theft Law
Although shoplifting is known to be stealing, it is classified as a separate offense in the California theft law as stated in the Penal Code 459.5 PC. It is defined as an unlawful activity with intention to steal or take possession of items worth less than $950 in any commercial establishment during its business hours.
Shoplifting activities include:
- Deftly taking DVDs/CDs that may be of $100-$200 worth
- Borrowing the neighbor’s work tools without returning and without the neighbor’s knowledge or consent
- Coveting new products received by the company without authority consent
- Taking delivered parcels to another recipient from their table without their knowledge and without intention to inform recipient of action
- Falsely claiming ownership of item that would generate income for the perpetrator as in seeking refunds on items taken from the store
Petty theft and shoplifting activities are considered as minor theft crimes in California to be charged as misdemeanors that could trigger penalties such as:
- Maximum fine of $1000
- Maximum 6 months jail
Such penalties are meted to most first-time convictions of petty thefts and shoplifting crimes. Offenders who attempt to steal property or valuables under $950 would be charged with shoplifting whether they succeed in their ruse if the prosecution is able to prove that the intention to steal is valid.
Evaluating Fair Market Value on Stolen Property in Petty Theft or Shoplifting
Sometimes it is difficult for the court to determine the actual value of the stolen item to pass a conviction and penalty verdict. The definition of ‘fair market value’ of the best price to be paid on the stolen property in the open market at that point in time and place may offer some guide to the court in determining an accurate value.
It may be an obvious value for many items that still exist in the market while certain items are considered ‘ancient’, keepsakes or depreciated to have any real market value in the current market.
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