Theft Offenses

Representing People In Ventura County, Santa Barbara County, L.A. County, And Southern California

Stealing another person's property is a grave offense under California state law. There are many types of theft crimes, some of which are misdemeanors, but a few of which are major felonies, and each has its own sentencing under the California Penal Code.


Also known as petty theft, shoplifting (Cal. Pen. Code § 484) occurs when someone steals something from a store or retailer with a value of $950 or less. This crime also involves no premeditation or intention of committing the crime upon entering the building or shop. Fines can range from $50 - $100 depending on the amount stolen and whether it was a repeat offense.

Cal. Pen. Code § 211 defines robbery as stealing a person's property from their immediate presence against their will through means of force or fear. Robbery is a felony and can be committed in the first or second degree. First degree robbery is punishable by three, six, or nine years in prison. Second degree robbery is punishable by a prison term of two, three, or five years.

When a person enters a building with the intent of committing a crime inside, that person can be convicted of the felony of burglary under Cal. Pen. Code § 459. If he or she commits burglary in an inhabited residence, it is first degree burglary and is punishable by two, four, or six years in prison. All other forms of burglary are punishable by 16 months, 2, or 3 years in prison.

Property Destruction
Vandalism is outlawed in Cal. Pen. Code § 594 and includes defacing property with graffiti, damaging property, and destroying property. The penalties vary depending on the value of the property defaced. Community service may be part of the sentencing.

Grand Theft
Theft of any property worth more than $950, of agriculture worth more than $250, of certain types of livestock, or of a firearm is grand theft as defined in Cal. Pen. Code § 487. This definition includes grand theft auto, which is the theft of a motor vehicle. As a felony crime, grand theft is punishable by 16 months, 2, or 3 years in prison.


If you are facing any of the charges listed above, don't hesitate to retain an attorney who could provide the results you need. Without proper defense, you could be wrongfully convicted and face time in prison for a crime you didn't commit. Call Ridley Defense today for a free initial consultation with a Ventura County criminal attorney who has 13 years of experience.