What distinguishes grand theft from petty theft?
Generally speaking, grand theft is a more serious crime than petty theft. This is because the value of the items stolen usually must be higher than a certain amount. This amount is set by statute in most states.
There are many factors that can determine whether the crime of grand theft will be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. The jurisdiction of the crime and the criminal history of the defendant also play a role in how this type of crime will be prosecuted.
In order to be guilty of grand theft, you must have the intent to take another person’s property permanently or significantly. This can be difficult to prove, so it’s important that you have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side to help you fight this charge.
Grand theft is typically a felony in most states, but it can be a misdemeanor depending on the jurisdiction and the severity of the crime. In most cases, it carries a fine and jail time if convicted.
Thefts that are worth less than $500 (or other amounts) are called “petty” theft. Stealing something that’s worth more than $500 is called “grand” theft.
If a person is charged with petty theft, they can be sentenced to six months in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. However, these punishments vary from state to state, and they may not factor into a sentence for a first-time offender.
There are also some legal defenses for petty theft charges, which can increase the chances that you won’t be convicted. These include:
Consent, a claim of right, no possession or no intent to steal are all valid defenses for petty theft charges.
A person can also be accused of petty theft because they were falsely accused or framed. These situations are often complex and can require a lot of time, effort, and resources to defend against.
Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer working on your behalf can make all the difference in your case, especially when it comes to grand theft and other crimes.
The value of the stolen goods will be an essential part of the prosecution’s case. The state statutes will usually determine how much the items must be valued at for a petty or grand theft to be charged as such.
In California, the value of an item must be at least $950 in order to be considered a grand theft.
On the other hand, if a person steals a car that is worth less than $950 in California, it is not a grand theft offense.
If a defendant is charged with grand theft auto, they can be sentenced to one year in jail or more in some states. The penalties depend on the value of the vehicle and if the alleged offender has a history of similar offenses in other states.
Thefts that are part of a spree can be charged as grand theft. This is because they often involve multiple people, or as a result of a criminal impulse.