How is Grand Theft Different From Petty Theft?
Grand Theft in Sacramento is defined under California Penal Code Section 487(a) (PC487a) as “the illegal or unlawful taking of another person’s property which is valued in excess of $950.” If the amount of the items are valued under $950, then the crime is classified as petty theft. Shoplifting can be classified as either petty theft or grand theft.
Grand Theft is a “wobbler” crime which means that the district attorney can charge it as either a felony or a misdemeanor depending upon factors which include:
- Whether you have any priors in your criminal history and what those priors are
- What the estimated value is of the item you’re accused of taking
- Whether a weapon was used in the commission of the crime
Many times your defense attorney can influence the decision on how the wobbler will be charged.
Defenses in a Grand Theft Case
- Lack of Intent
- Property actually belonged to you
- Consent – the person who owned the item consented to you taking it
- False Accusations