San Bernardino and Riverside Theft Crime Attorney

person breaking into someone home

Theft crimes typically refer to any crime in which someone uses, takes, or steals another person’s property without permission. Many different crimes fall into the category of theft crimes, including burglary, robbery, larceny, shoplifting, auto theft, and embezzlement. Theft crimes involving stealing another person’s Identity or using another person’s credit card without permission have become more common.

California prosecutors are well-known for rigorously prosecuting theft crimes. If you are facing a theft crime charge in California, your future and freedom are at risk. Many penalties for these types of crimes in California are significant and include jail time and fines. You need an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will carefully review your case and develop an effective legal defense. Contact the Law Offices of Ronald L. Freeman today to schedule your initial consultation.

Petty Theft

Petty theft is a crime with the least severe penalties, but you should still take it seriously if you’ve been charged with this crime. Petty theft refers to the unlawful taking of another person’s property valued at under $950 without the owner’s permission. Shoplifting is one of the most common types of petty theft charges. Prosecutors must approve all of the following elements to secure a charge:

  • The defendant took possession of property owned by another person
  • The defendant took the property without the owner’s consent
  • The defendant’s intent was to deprive the owner of possession of their property permanently
  • The defendant moved the property and kept it for any period of time

Depending on the value of goods involved, you could face a jail sentence of up to six months and a $1,000 fine if you are convicted. Even if you’ve only stolen less than $50, you will still have to pay a $250 fine, and you will have a criminal record. If you have a prior conviction, the prosecutor may charge you with a prior conviction, which can be considered a felony charge punishable by over a year of jail time.

Grand Theft

Grand theft involves the unlawful taking of property valued at over $950 without the owner’s permission. There are several different types of grand theft charges, including grand theft by embezzlement, false pretenses, or by trick. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could be charged with a more specific crime, such as grand theft auto or grand theft firearm.

Prosecutors have the option of charging grand theft as a misdemeanor or a felony. If convicted of a misdemeanor grand theft charge, the defendant faces up to six months in county jail, a fine, and informal probation. 

Felony grand theft charges are punishable by a prison sentence between 16 months and three years. Common defenses include proving that the prosecution doesn’t have enough evidence to convict you, proving that you had a reasonable belief that the items in question belong to you, or proving that your constitutional rights were violated.


Robbery occurs when someone uses fear or physical force to steal property or money from another person. In most robbery cases, the suspect uses a weapon to intimidate the victim and steal from him or her. When the suspect uses a weapon to intimidate the victim, the prosecutor will probably charge the crime as armed or aggravated robbery. The prosecutor will need to show a confrontation between at least two or more people, and that the defendant used force or threatened to use force.


Burglary involves trespassing on another person’s property with the intent to commit a crime. There are two main types of burglary charges. First-degree burglary is also called residential burglary. First-degree burglary in California is always charged as a felony and is also considered a “strike” under the “three-strikes” law. First-degree burglary involves entering a building with the specific intent to commit a crime. 

Second-degree burglary, also called commercial burglary, involves entering a commercial building without the owner’s permission with the intent to commit a crime. In California, prosecutors can charge second-degree burglary as a felony or misdemeanor charge. When facing burglary charges, one of the best defenses involves proving that the defendant didn’t intend to commit a crime when entering the building or structure.

Receiving Stolen Property

Receiving stolen property is a commonly prosecuted crime in California. Receiving stolen property occurs when the defendant boss concealed, received, or possessed someone else’s property knowing that the property was illegally stolen. The prosecutor must prove that the defendant knew the property was stolen when he or she received the property. Prosecutors can charge this crime as a misdemeanor or felony. 

When the stolen property value is under $400, the crime is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine. If the property’s value is over $400, and/or the defendant has a prior criminal conviction, he or she will face felony charges with harsher penalties. 

Other California Theft Crimes

There are many more types of theft crimes in California, including the following:

  • Identity theft 
  • Joyriding
  • Grand theft firearm
  • Grand theft Auto
  • Petty theft with a prior
  • Money laundering
  • Embezzlement
  • Credit card fraud
  • Carjacking
  • Shoplifting
  • Auto burglary 

Contact a San Bernardino Theft Crimes Lawyer Today

If your loved one has been accused of a theft crime in San Bernardino or the surrounding area, you need a highly-skilled defense lawyer on your side. At the Law Offices of Ronald L. Freeman, We have decades of experience defending California residents against criminal charges. We will carefully review your case and give it the attention it deserves, and then we’ll develop a strong defense strategy to obtain the best possible outcome in your case. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.