Theft Crimes

San Diego Theft Crimes Lawyer

Defending Against Theft Crime Charges in California

Whether charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, a theft crime can seriously impact your life, especially if you are an immigrant. Thankfully, you have an opportunity to defend yourself from these accusations and tell your side of the story. No matter how overwhelming the evidence against you may seem, a solid defense strategy almost always has a chance of dropping or minimizing the charges against you.

Rodriguez Law Firm is led by a former police officer turned San Diego criminal defense attorney. We are committed to helping our clients through these difficult situations and fighting for the best possible outcome. Our clients include immigrants of all statuses, including those without documentation. At our firm, you will have a safe space to discuss your legal concerns.

Contact Rodriguez Law Firm by calling (619) 332-1703 to schedule a consultation with a proven San Diego theft crime defense attorney.

What is Burglary?

Burglary is a type of theft crime in which breaking and entering a structure occurs. Breaking and entering goes beyond just homes, and you can be charged with burglary for breaking into a car, cargo container, safe, or other structure. You do not have to actually take anything to be charged with burglary. As long as the prosecution can prove that you broke into a structure with the intent to commit a crime (even if that crime was never followed through) you can be convicted of burglary.

There are two classifications of burglary charges in California, which are:

  • First-degree burglary – A felony offense which can be charged if the structure broken into was someone’s private residence. Penalties can include a maximum 6-year prison sentence and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • Second-degree burglary – Also known as commercial burglary, this can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor. This refers to all breaking and entering crimes that do not involve a private residence. Penalties vary depending on whether it is charged as a misdemeanor or felony.

Intent is a critical component of a burglary charge. The prosecution will have to prove that you intentionally committed burglary for the purpose of committing a crime to secure a conviction. There are many possible defenses that can be used to combat this accusation.

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    About Robbery Charges

    Robbery is a more serious classification of a theft crime. You could be charged with robbery if fear, intimidation, or threats were used to commit theft. A threat does not have to be explicit in order to qualify as robbery. Simply holding a weapon or making implied threats can result in a robbery charge.

    The use of force or intimidation can take many forms, including:

    • Holding a weapon in a threatening manner
    • Drugging a person before taking their property
    • Pushing or shoving
    • Striking a person
    • Blackmailing a person
    • Threatening someone’s friends or family

    Robbery charges are always charged as felonies. In most cases, they are charged as second-degree felonies with a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines. If the robbery was committed against a public servant or other extenuating circumstances existed, it can be charged as a first-degree felony. These charges carry a maximum penalty of 9 years in prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines.

    Defenses Against Theft Crime Charges

    Defenses against theft crime charges may include:

    • Lack of Intent: One of the primary factors that must be proven in a theft case is intent. The prosecution must show that you planned to permanently deprive the owner of their property. If we can demonstrate that you had no such intention, your charges could be reduced or dismissed. For instance, if you mistakenly believed the property was yours or if you intended to return it, we can argue that there was no criminal intent.
    • Ownership Dispute: Sometimes, theft charges arise from misunderstandings about property ownership. If you can prove that you believed, in good faith, that the property belonged to you or that you had the right to use it, this can serve as a powerful defense. We will gather evidence and witness testimony to support your claim and challenge the prosecution's assertions.
    • Consent: Another viable defense is that you had the owner's consent to take or use the property. We can argue that no theft occurred if the property owner gave you permission, either explicitly or implicitly. This defense often involves demonstrating communication and agreements between you and the owner.
    • Mistaken Identity: In cases where theft involves multiple individuals or occurs in busy environments, mistaken identity can be a significant issue. If you were wrongfully recognized as the perpetrator, we will work diligently to establish your alibi, present witness statements, and scrutinize any surveillance footage or other evidence that may exonerate you.
    • Lack of Evidence: The prosecution must provide compelling evidence to provide proof of your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If there are gaps in their case or if the evidence is circumstantial or unreliable, we will highlight these weaknesses. Challenging the credibility of the prosecution's evidence and witnesses can lead to a favorable outcome.
    • Entrapment: If you were induced or coerced by law enforcement to commit a theft that you would not have otherwise committed, you may have a valid entrapment defense. We will examine the conduct of law enforcement officers to determine if they overstepped their boundaries and pressured you into committing the crime.

    Contact Our Theft Crimes Attorney in San Diego Today

    At Rodriguez Law Firm, our San Diego theft crimes lawyers are here to support you through every step of your case. We understand the serious consequences that a theft conviction can have on your life, including potential jail time, fines, and a lasting criminal record. These repercussions can affect your employment opportunities, housing prospects, and personal relationships. Call us now to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you.

    You should start working with a trusted theft crimes attorney in San Diego as soon as possible after being charged. Call Rodriguez Law Firm today at (619) 332-1703 for a consultation.

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