Grand Theft

GRAND THEFT (PC 487)

The laws pertaining to grand theft in California, CA Penal Code 487, are quite complex. The most common type of grand theft is grand theft by larceny, meaning you physically take another person’s property.

To be convicted of grand theft by Larceny a prosecutor must prove:

  • You took someone else’s possession
  • You did not have permission to take the property from the owner
  • You intended to take the property with the intent to deprive the owner of its value or enjoyment
  • You carried or moved the property away and kept it for a period of time
  • The value of the property taken must amount to $950.00 or greater.

NOTE:  If the value is less than $950.00 then the appropriate Criminal charge is Petty Theft.   If the property taken was a car or firearm, regardless of the value, you will be charged with PC 487 Grand Theft.

To be convicted of grand theft by false pretense a prosecutor must prove:

  • That you Knowingly and intentionally deceived somebody by misrepresenting a Fact
  • Carried out the false pretense with the sole intent to persuade that person to entrust the property to you
  • Because of your false pretense, the person let you take possession and custody of the property

To be convicted of grand theft by trick a prosecutor must prove:

  • You actually obtained someone else’s property
  • You obtained the property by way of fraud or deceit
  • Your intent for employing fraud/deceit was to deprive the owner of its value or enjoyment
  • You took control of the property for a period of time
  • The owner of the property did not intent to give it to you

To be convicted of grand theft by embezzlement a prosecutor must prove:

  • You were Entrusted with certain property by the owner of that property
  • The property owner relied on you to safeguard the property
  • By way of fraud or to benefit yourself you assumed control over the property
  • You intended to take the property with the intent to deprive the owner of its value or enjoyment

WOBBLER

May be Charged as Felony or Misdemeanor  

theft in California is a wobbler, meaning it can be tried as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the details of the case and your criminal record.

If the crime is tried as a misdemeanor then you face:

  • Up to one year in county jail

If the crime is tried as a felony, then you face:

  • Up to three years in state prison

NOTE:  If a gun was utilized during the commission of the offense then the crime is automatically charged as a felony.