Burglary, Robbery, Shoplifting, Carjacking, Identity Theft and Other Crimes
Theft crimes are generally defined as criminal activities in which force, cunning, or deception is used to acquire money or property without the owner’s permission. Depending on the circumstances of the theft crime, it may be categorized as either a misdemeanor or a felony. This determines the extent of monetary fines that must be paid, the length of jail or prison time, and any other sentence that fits the crime in the court’s opinion.
Are you facing a theft crime conviction? Get in touch with a Riverside County criminal defense lawyer to have your situation professionally evaluated.
Types of Theft Offenses
Common examples of theft crimes include, but are not limited to:
- Credit card fraud
- Identity theft
If a theft crime is just under the bar of felony and is considered a misdemeanor, it can easily escalate to the felony status if accompanied by another criminal offense. For instance, some theft situations may involve a person who was at the wrong place in the wrong time, who was either threatened or injured by the perpetrator’s contact. In this instance, assault and/or battery may alter the dynamic of the theft crime, resulting in a harsher sentence.
Your Theft Crime Attorney in Riverside
There are less obvious theft crimes that are still subject to penal action, such as property mislaid, delivered by mistake, lost, and receiving stolen property, services, property from a motor vehicle, bad checks, and the failure to make a required disposition of funds received. Although penalties are less severe, it is important to know the specifics of the more obscure theft crimes.
It is often difficult to foresee the repercussions of theft crimes, whether a victim or another crime was involved or not. Getting as much information is crucial to your defense, and the Law Office of H. Charles Gorian has extensive trial experience with theft crimes and other areas of criminal defense.
Our firm is dedicated to providing aggressive defense strategies for the most advantageous outcome of your case. Call (951) 395-0511 today for a free case evaluation.
Burglary Defense Lawyer in Riverside County
What Is Burglary in California?
Burglary and robbery are two different crimes. Generally speaking, robbery is committed when an individual unlawfully takes something that belongs to someone else. Robbery is only committed if the individual intends to keep what they have taken. On the other hand, burglary occurs when an individual wrongfully enters someone else’s home with the intention to commit a crime. For example, burglary might be committed when an individual breaks into an apartment with the intention of stealing the resident’s jewelry.
A robbery conviction relies on the intention of the perpetrator. The suspect must specifically intend on taking and keeping something that doesn’t belong to him/her. When individuals take something that doesn’t belong to them with the intention of keeping it, they may have committed robbery. If the suspect can demonstrate that he/she didn’t intend on keeping the item, he/she may not be convicted of robbery. Robbery is considered a felony. Additionally, robbery can only be committed in the presence of the person who owns the property.
In other words, if one individual steals something from another person when the other person isn’t there, a robbery has not been committed. Usually, property must be taken from a reasonable distance to qualify as robbery. Thus, if an item is stolen from someone’s house when he/she is in the other room, the perpetrator may still be accused of committing robbery. However, if the owner of the property isn’t in the house, the perpetrator may be guilty of a different crime. Unlike robbery, burglary occurs when an individual intends on creating a theft crime inside another person’s dwelling.
For example, if an individual breaks into his friend’s house to make an emergency phone call but decided to steal some jewelry while inside, he/she may not be guilty of burglary. If caught, the suspect may be accused of theft instead. It is easy to confuse larceny and burglary with each other. Unlike burglary, larceny does not require that the individual broke into a structure. In order to be convicted of burglary, law enforcement must be able to demonstrate forceful entry of someone else’s home or building. Larceny does not require this; and is usually considered a lesser offense than burglary or robbery.
Burglary can only be committed in an empty residence. In other words, your house cannot be burglarized when you are home. In some states, burglary can only be committed at nighttime.
Call (951) 395-0511 or fill out our free online case evaluation form today to discuss your case.
What Are the Consequences?
According to the California Penal Code, burglary may be committed in the first or second degree. Any burglary that involves entering an inhabited home or inhabited vessel is burglary in the first degree. All other types of burglary are committed in the second degree.
According to state law, first degree burglary is punishable by imprisonment in a state prison for two, four, or six years. Second degree burglary is punishable by one year of incarceration in a county jail. Typically, probation is not granted to individuals who have committed second degree burglary.
Accused of Burglary? We Can Help
At The Law Office of H. Charles Gorian, we are dedicated to criminal defense. Facing any criminal charge can be frustrating and intimidating. If you’ve been accused, you probably have a lot of questions: Do I need a lawyer? What happens if I’m convicted? At the firm, we are ready to help you understand your legal circumstance so that you can make an educated decision about your legal future. If you are found guilty of burglary, you may have difficulty escaping the stigma of a conviction.
To see what out attorney can do for your case, contact us today so we can begin working on an aggressive and effective case strategy to keep your record clean.
Riverside Robbery Attorney
Accused? Call a Riverside Criminal Defense Lawyer Now
Robbery is a crime in California that is defined as the taking or attempting to take something of value from another person without their permission with the intent to permanently deprive the person of it (as opposed to borrowing it). This charge will differ in severity depending on what was allegedly stolen, the monetary value of what was allegedly stolen, and how the property was allegedly stolen. The crime in its complete definition and the penalties for the crime are listed in the California Penal Code § 211-215. This section of the penal code states that “robbery is the felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear.”
The penalties for committing first degree robbery, as defined by the penal code, are prison terms of up to nine years. Some of these crimes may be considered a felony. If the robbery or attempted robbery was committed with a deadly weapon, then the individual may be facing assault with a deadly weapon charges as well as robbery charges. According to § 215 of the penal code, “carjacking” is a type of robbery in which an individual commits the felonious act of stealing a vehicle that is currently in the possession of another. The punishment for carjacking is a state prison term of three, five, or nine years.
What Is the Difference Between Robbery and Burglary?
Although robbery and burglary are both crimes of theft, they are actually very different but commonly mixed up. While robbery is a taking or attempted taking of an item of value, burglary involves the unlawful entry into a home or other property in order to commit theft. Robbery can take place anywhere, while burglary is a forced entry into a business, home, or other property with the intent to commit theft. The crime of larceny is different still. This crime is different from burglary in that it does not involve the forced entry into a structure. This type of crime involves all thefts from a vehicle whether the vehicle was locked or unlocked at the time.
In most cases, robbery is treated as an intensified version of larceny. There are eight major elements of robbery that must be proven in order to constitute a conviction. There must have been a trespassing, taking, carrying away, the carrying away must have been of personal property, the personal property must have belonged to another, the intention must have been to steal, the stealing must have been from the victim, and the stealing must have been accomplished by way of force or threatened violence of some kind. The major difference then between common law larceny, burglary and robbery is that robbery is centrally defined by the use of force or threatening in order to accomplish the theft.
Charged With a Theft Crime? Call The Law Office of H. Charles Gorian
There are two major defenses to these crimes. First of all, we may able to present enough evidence in hopes of proving that you did not actually commit the act of theft. Another route that our legal team is prepared to go is to accept a plea bargain in hopes of getting your charges lessened so that the penalties you face will not be as severe. Either way, our firm always acts in the best interests of its clients.
When you need an attorney you can trust and be confident in, look nowhere other than Riverside defense attorney Chuck Gorian at The Law Office of H. Charles Gorian.
Riverside Shoplifting Defense Lawyer
Arrested for Retail Theft? Call Our Firm to Fight Your Charges!
Shoplifting is a prevalent crime – more than $13 billion worth of merchandise is stolen from retailers each year, or more than $35 million per day. More than 10 million people have been caught for shoplifting in the last five years and there are approximately 27 million shoplifters in the United States today.
Shoplifting crimes are considered “Crimes of Moral Turpitude” – or crimes involving dishonesty. Because of this reason, shoplifting charges can be quite serious, as many employers will disqualify a person with a recent theft conviction – theft convictions appear on background reports for ten years or more. Also, if you are not a US citizen, a shoplifting conviction can lead to a denial of permanent residency, deportation, or denial of entry into the United States. People get away with shoplifting by larceny, trickery, embezzlement, or false pretenses.
- Larceny involves carrying off another person’s property without their consent
- Trickery involves tactics such as tag switching
- Embezzlement involves depriving someone of something after it was entrusted to you (normally involves an employer-employee relationship)
- False pretense involves making false representations to obtain money, property, or labor, convincing someone that something belongs to you when it does not
Department stores, supermarkets, drug stores, and convenience stores all can be targeted by shoplifters. Shoplifting can include a lot of things, such as switching a higher priced tag with a less expensive one. Employees are some of the most common culprits – the Wall Street Journal reports that 75% of employees have stolen at least one time.
Petty Theft Crimes
In California, penalties for shoplifting depend upon whether “petty theft” or “grand theft” took place. Penal Code Sections 484 and 488 discuss petty and grand theft. For an offense that involved less than $950, a defendant may be forced to pay a $1,000 fine and spend six months in jail.
Grand Theft Crimes
When more than $950 worth of goods is stolen, an individual can face a sentence of one year in prison. Grand theft constitutes a felony offense. Grand theft often includes auto burglary, embezzlement or identity theft. Other factors that can determine whether your crime is charged to you as a misdemeanor or a felony include criminal record and the circumstances of your case (if there were any “aggravating factors” involved). Aggravating factors can include:
- Use of a weapon
- Resisting arrest
- Conspiracy (shoplifting involving a ring of people)
Civil Demand Letters
After you have been accused of shoplifting, a store might mail you a “civil demand letter” and threaten to sue you, if you do not pay them back for this loss. Before you do so – you should know your rights. If a store recovers the item you tried to take, you are not responsible to pay for any loss. Only if you damaged an item and that item could not subsequently be resold, can you be held liable.
Defenses for Shoplifting
Defenses against shoplifting charges can include: you forgot to put back merchandise or pay for the merchandise, the “stolen items” actually belonged to you, you had consent to take the items, you were framed, you were unaware you had unpaid-for merchandise on you.
Typically if this was your first offense, you could receive diminished penalties such as having to repay the value of the merchandise, carry out community service or attend anti-theft classes. If you can pursue a plea agreement, your charges could get reduced to a Penal Code 415 violation- trespassing or disturbing the peace. In California, trespassing is a misdemeanor and disturbing the peace is an infraction.
No matter what kind of a shoplifting charge you face, this crime can be serious. As previously mentioned, a shoplifting conviction can affect your future employment or residency in the United States.
Because of the serious nature of shoplifting, you should understand the details of your case. Contact The Law Office of H. Charles Gorian for a free consultation today.