OVERVIEW OF THEFT CRIMES IN CALIFORNIA

Theft is one of the most common criminal offenses in California and it comes in many forms. 

Penal Code 484 PC, is the statute that makes it a crime to take someone else’s property, a crime generally called “theft.”

  • Petty theft, or the theft of property worth $950 or less, or grand theft for property exceeding $950. However, not all theft offenses fall under these classifications. Theft may be charged under many criminal statutes Under California Penal Code 488 PC, petty theft is unlawfully taking property worth $950 or less

  • Penal Code 487 PC classifies grand theft as unlawfully taking someone else’s property that is valued at more than $950. Grand theft is a “wobbler” that may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony.

  • Grand theft can be a confusing offense in California, especially since the passage of Proposition 47. Previously, certain types of theft such as grand theft auto and firearm theft were automatically “grand theft” felonies regardless of the value of the property. Under Prop 47, you can only be charged with a misdemeanor if the value of the property is under $950

  • Burglary is a serious offense under California Penal Code 459 PC. Burglary is defined as entering a commercial or residential building with the intent to commit a theft or felony. Simply entering the building with intent is enough to commit burglary even if the theft or felony is not completed.

                                                                                                               There are two degrees of burglary:

                                                                                                     First-degree burglary is burglary of a residence

                                                                        Second-degree burglary is burglary of a commercial property or other structure

                                                    First-degree burglary is always a felony. Second-degree burglary is a “wobbler” and may be a misdemeanor or felony.