Petty and Grand Theft

Petty Theft

Petty theft is defined under Penal Code Section 488 or 490.5 as the stealing of property valued at $950.00 or less and is a MISDEMEANOR offense. Items involving stolen goods valued at less than $50.00 generally can be reduced to an infraction. If the property taken is valued at over $950, the case can be charged as a felony grand theft (see below). Oftentimes, petty theft is charged as commercial burglary because the authorities believe that the defendant entered the store with the intent to steal. Commercial burglary is a much more serious offense and can be charged as a felony. Similarly, a second charge of petty theft may be filed as a FELONY (petty theft with a prior) exposing the defendant to state prison time in both instances.

Petty theft is the MOST COMMON property crime in the United States. Petty theft is also commonly known as shoplifting. Anybody who exits a commercial building or store without paying for a product, attempts to take a DVD or video game by concealing it under his or her jacket, removes or switches the tags of an item, modifies a tag, wears shoes or clothing and exits the store without paying or consumes food, but conceals the packaging to avoid paying, can be charged with shoplifting.

Moreover, anyone who ACCIDENTALLY walks out of a shop without paying for a product can be charged with the crime of petty theft if the authorities don't believe the taking was accidental.

Need a Temecula Criminal Defense Attorney for Petty Theft Charges?
Contact The Law Offices of Parwana Anwar, PLC if you are charged with petty theft. Our attorneys are experienced at getting petty theft cases reduced or dismissed so you will not have a theft conviction on your record.

Grand Theft

Grand theft under CA Penal Code Section 487(a) is defined as the illegal taking of another person's property valued in excess of $950. This crime, can be charged as either a FELONY or a misdemeanor, commonly known as a wobbler offense. As a felony, it can carry with it as much as three years in state prison. As a misdemeanor, it carries up to one year in local county jail. In every case, the prosecutor will use particular factors such as your criminal record (or lack thereof) and the value of the item(s) taken to determine whether to charge the case as a felony or a misdemeanor.

If the product taken is valued at $950 or less, then the crime can be charged pursuant to Penal Code Section 484, commonly known as petty theft (see above). This crime is always only a misdemeanor offense.

If you have been charged with grand theft or petty theft in San Diego, contact the San Diego Theft Crimes Defense Attorney Parwana Anwar. Prior to opening the Anwar Law Offices, Parwana Anwar was a prosecutor with years of experience prosecuting theft crimes. Contact a Temecula criminal defense attorney for a free consultation at (951) 698-1250 at our Murrieta / Temecula office.