Theft Crime

Burglary

Entering a building or structure with the intent to steal or commit another felony constitutes burglary under Penal Code section 459. To convict you of burglary, the prosecution need not prove that you entered the dwelling or structure with the use of force. All that the prosecution needs to prove is that you entered the structure or dwelling and that, at the time of doing so, you had the intent to commit a crime inside.
A crucial issue is precisely when you formed the intent to commit the crime inside the dwelling or structure. This intent has to be present at the time of entry. In other words, if you formed the intent after you entered the building, then you cannot be convicted of burglary.
There are two types of burglary: commercial and residential. Categorized as first-degree burglary and prosecuted as a felony, residential burglary is entering an inhabited dwelling with the intent to commit a felony inside. Commercial burglary, categorized as second-degree burglary, entails every other kind of burglary including some shoplifting offenses under Penal Code section 454. Commercial burglary is a “wobbler,” which means it can be prosecuted as either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the circumstances of the specific case and the alleged offender’s criminal history.

Burglary cases can involve technical and substantive challenges for the prosecution. Even when the evidence seems overwhelming and damaging, Los Angeles Criminal Attorney Negin Yamini will seek and present the most effective legal defenses—both substantive and mitigating in nature—to accomplish the most favorable outcome in your particular case. For more information about burglary, or to discuss your case confidentially with a criminal defense attorney, contact the Law Office of Negin Yamini for a free consultation.

Auto Burglary

Entering a locked automobile or its trunk with the intent to steal or commit any other felony inside is prosecuted as auto burglary under Penal Code section 459. Categorized as second-degree burglary, auto burglary is prosecuted as either a felony or a misdemeanor, again depending on the particulars of the case and the alleged offender’s criminal history, or lack thereof.

In contrast to a conviction for traditional (commercial and residential) burglary, a conviction for auto burglary requires evidence of a “break in” or “forced entry.” If you did not actually break in or force your entry into the vehicle—e.g., you opened the vehicle by simply pulling the latch of an unlocked door or trunk—you cannot be prosecuted for this offense. You may, however, be prosecuted for vehicle tampering or trespass. Like a conviction for traditional burglary, a conviction for auto burglary requires hinges on your intent. It requires that you specifically intend to steal the car or its content, or commit another felony inside the car. Note that the intended crime need not be accomplished in order for you to be convicted of auto burglary. However, if the alleged intended crime is not accomplished, then your intent becomes more difficult for the prosecution to prove.

For more information about auto burglary, or to discuss your case confidentially with a criminal defense attorney, contact the Law Office of Negin Yamini for a free consultation. Attorney Negin Yamini will thoroughly explore all of the evidentiary and intent issues in your case in order to reach an outcome best suited to your particular circumstances.

Grand Theft Auto (GTA), “Joyriding,” and Embezzlement

Grand theft auto under Penal Code section 487(d)(1) is the taking or driving away of an automobile belonging to another person with the intent to deprive this person (i.e., the owner) of possession or ownership of the automobile.

To convict you of GTA the prosecution must prove that you had the specific intent to permanently deprive the owner of ownership or possession of the vehicle. If the facts indicate that you only intended to temporarily deprive the owner of ownership or possession of the vehicle, then you may be found guilty of “joyriding” under Vehicle Code 10851, but not of GTA. For a conviction of GTA, the prosecutor must also prove that you lacked owner consent. If the owner consented to your possession of the vehicle, then you cannot be found guilty of GTA, even if you intended to permanently deprive the owner of the vehicle. In this scenario, the appropriate charge would be embezzlement, not GTA.

If you have been charged with GTA, joyriding, or embezzlement, contact the Law Office of Negin Yamini for a free consultation. Ms. Yamini will thoroughly explore and investigate all the evidentiary and intent issues in your particular case.

Robbery

To convict you of the crime of robbery under Penal Code section 211, the prosecution must prove that a) you took from another’s possession property that did not belong to you, and b) you did so through use of force and with intent to permanently or for an extended period of time deprive the owner of value or enjoyment of the property. Robbery is always prosecuted as a felony.

If you are charged with this crime, you may have several legal defenses available to you, the success of any one of which depends on the particular circumstances of your case. For example, you may not have had the specific intent required for robbery. Your alleged use of force or fear may have been incidental to some purpose other than the intent to deprive the owner of ownership of the property in question. The manner in which you took the property is also relevant. If you did not use force or fear to accomplish the taking away of the property, then you cannot be found guilty of robbery. Even if both the intent and conduct elements of the crime are present, you may have a valid mistaken identity defense. These are defenses that Attorney Negin Yamini will thoroughly explore and aptly assert in your particular case.

For more information about robbery, or to discuss your case confidentially with a criminal defense attorney, contact the Law Office of Negin Yamini for a free consultation.

Theft (Grand Theft and Petty Theft)

Theft is the unlawful taking of another’s property. Any of the following scenarios constitute theft:

  • larceny (the physical carrying away of another’s property without that person’s consent or permission)
  • larceny (the physical carrying away of another’s property without that person’s consent or permission)
  • embezzlement (taking away property that has been entrusted to you with the intent to deprive the owner of possession of said property)
  • trick (deceiving another into giving you possession of the property)
  • false pretenses (gaining possession of the property through false representations)

You will be charged with “Grand Theft” (under Penal Code Section 487) if the value of the property allegedly stolen is above $950.00. If the property is valued less than $950, you will be charged with “Petty Theft” under Penal Code Section 488.

Shoplifting or petty theft is normally prosecuted as a misdemeanor. Grand theft is prosecuted as a felony or a misdemeanor depending on your criminal history and the circumstances of your case.

For more information about grand/petty theft, or to discuss your case confidentially with a criminal defense attorney, contact the Los Angeles Criminal Attorney Law Firm for a free consultation.

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