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Los Angeles Theft Crimes Defense Attorney

Los Angeles and Southern California Theft Crimes Defense Lawyer

In Los Angeles, theft crimes are criminal acts of taking another person’s property or money without permission. In California, theft crimes can be either misdemeanors or felonies depending on the circumstances. There are many different crimes that fit this definition, such as shoplifting, robbery, burglary, larceny, forgery, embezzlement, auto theft, and receiving stolen property. While petty theft, burglary, and robbery are common forms of theft crime, there is also a growing trend in the use of another person’s identity for fraud purposes—for example credit card thefts. Los Angeles theft crimes attorney Cyrus S. Tabibnia has extensive experience fighting theft cases. He has handled hundreds of Southern California theft crimes cases.



See, California Penal Code 484 and 488. California petty theft constitutes the unlawful taking of property of another person or entity that is valued at nine hundred fifty dollars ($950) or less.

The elements of petty theft are:

  • Intent – you intended to deprive the owner of the property; and
  • Taking – you took something from another person or business; or
  • Fraud – you fraudulently obtained the property through deceit or otherwise.


Petty theft may occur in a number of circumstances. These include:

  • Theft by intentional taking away of property of another (also called “larceny”) – these constitute the majority of petty theft cases.
  • Theft by trick – for example, switching price tags on an item in a store in order to pay less for it).
  • Theft by embezzlement – taking money or property that that has been entrusted to you.
  • Theft by fraud; lying or deceiving someone in order to convince them to give you their property.
  • Theft by false pretense; lying or deceiving someone in order to convince them to give you their property.

Examples of Petty Theft

  • Shoplifting sunglasses at a department store, which are worth $250;
  • Asking to “borrow” your neighbor’s $700 bicycle, taking and not returning it, when you initially knew you had no intention of giving it back.
  • Taking a $500 dress from a shipment of clothes you are accepting delivery for on behalf of your boss.

Legal Defenses to Petty Theft

There are a number of viable legal defenses to grand theft that could lead to charges being either dismissed or reduced. These include any one or more of the following:

  • No intent to steal – you did not intend to steal the item,
  • Ownership/possession – the item was not stolen; it belonged to you.
  • False accusation – you did not undertake the act.
  • Consent – the person who owned the merchandise/item/product gave you permission to take it.
  • Alibi – it was not you who took the property.
  • Duress/threat – you were threatened into taking the property.
  • Accident/Negligence – you did not act intentionally; you mistakenly took the item(s).
  • Entrapment – law enforcement entrapped you.

Penalties and Punishment for Grand Theft

Grand theft is a wobbler. Thus, the District Attorney’s Office retains discretion to charge it as a felony or misdemeanor. When charged as a misdemeanor, grand theft carries a maximum sentence of one (1) year in county jail plus certain, applicable fines. If charged as a felony, grand theft carries a potential sentence of 16 months, two years, or three years in state prison, not including fines and possible restitution to any victims. Often, the greater the financial damage caused by the act, the more extensive the punishment sought by the prosecutors. Cal. Pen. Code §489.


Immigration Consequences of Grand Theft

If you are not a United States citizen and are charged with a crime, you are strongly advised to seek legal advice from an attorney on your immigration status. In this case, a PC 487 conviction – grand theft – may have immigration consequences. You are strongly advised to talk to obtain legal advice on your immigration status if you are charged with this crime.

Los Angeles Theft Crimes Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one is charged with Penal Code 484 (petty theft) or 487 PC (grand theft) and you are looking to hire Los Angeles criminal defense attorney for representation, please contact us. The initial consultation is free of charge. Call 866-713-2159 today and schedule a consultation.

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6454 Van Nuys Blvd Ste 150
Van Nuys, CA 91401

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10100 Santa Monica Blvd Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA 90067

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