How Does California Define Felony Grand Theft?

The elements of felony grand theft are as follows: a person took possession of property owned by someone else; this person took the property without the owner’s consent; when they took the property, they intended to deprive the owner of it permanently or to remove it from the owner’s possession for an extended period of time, during which the owner would be deprived of a major portion of the value or enjoyment of the property, and moved the property even a small distance and kept it for any period of time, however brief; and such property was valued above $950.

What Does the Prosecutor Have to Prove in a Grand Theft Case in California?

Similar to fraud charges, the prosecution has to prove that the defendant used fraud or deceit to acquire property that belonged to another and that they intended to deprive the owner of that property for a period of time.

What Are Potential Defenses to Grand Theft Charges?

There are many possible defenses, including the statute of limitations has expired. There could be problems with proof of the identity of the criminal suspect. The accused may not have had the intent required by statute. The accused may have committed the offense under duress or necessity. The accused may have made a mistake of fact, which amounts to a defense. These are examples of some possible defenses.

What Are the Sentencing Guidelines or Penalties for Grand Theft Conviction Under California State Law?

A grand theft felony carries up to 16 months, two or three years in state prison. Most persons should be eligible to serve any custodial sentence in county jail, pursuant to Penal Code Section 1170(h). Grand theft can also be charged and/or sentenced as a misdemeanor, which then carries up to one year in the county jail. Most counties have expanded their different treatment courts to accept grand theft charges, such as drug court, behavior health court, and veterans’ court. Also, many counties are expanding certain diversion programs, and grand theft could be eligible for such diversion programs if specific requirements regarding the individual are met.

For more information on Felony Grand Theft Cases in California, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 484-0906 today.

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