Theft Offenses

Theft Crime Attorney in Ventura & Santa Barbara

At Ridley Defense, we understand that any criminal charges can be devastating to your career and your family.  The clients that walk through our doors are rarely hardened criminals. They are upstanding citizens often holding professional licenses.  We focus on putting your family back together after an arrest. Our experienced theft attorneys will not only prepare a strong defense in your case; they will help you with matters in-and-out of the courtroom.  If you have been arrested on theft charges in Southern California, the worst thing you can do is wait. Call our offices today for a complimentary consultation and see the difference at Ridley Defense.

Hiring the Right Theft Lawyer

Theft charges can range from minor misdemeanors to serious felony charges.  No matter what the situation, the Ridley Defense team can help. Founder Doug Ridley is a former prosecutor who spent years taking criminal cases to trial.  Now, as a criminal defense attorney, Mr. Ridley is well-respected by judges, prosecutors, court staff, and fellow defense attorneys. He has helped the courts to establish policies and procedures for mental health diversion and probation.  You need an attorney who knows how the other side thinks and has the reputation and experience to get you the best results on your case.

Common Theft Offenses

Under California law, there are numerous types of theft offenses.  The attorneys at Ridley Defense have handled thousands of cases, representing clients throughout Ventura, Santa Barbara, and SLO on petty theft, shoplifting and robbery charges.  These are some of the most common theft violations:

  • ShopliftingPenal Code 459.5 (a) defines shoplifting as “entering a commercial establishment with intent to commit larceny, while that establishment is open during regular business hours, where the value of the property that is taken or intended to be taken does not exceed nine hundred and fifty dollars ($950).”  

Shoplifting is generally charged as a misdemeanor.  Maximum penalties for a misdemeanor shoplifting conviction include up to six (6) months in jail and a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000). 

  • BurglaryBurglary is defined under Penal Code 459 as “every person who enters any house, room, apartment, tenement, shop, warehouse, store, mill, barn, stable, outhouse or other building, tent, vessel … with intent to commit grand or petit larceny or any felony is guilty of burglary.”

If found guilty of first-degree burglary, you may face a state imprisonment.  Second-degree burglary may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony (“wobbler”) carrying with it a jail sentence, high fines, victim restitution, and probation depending on the situation. 

  • Robbery –  Penal Code 211 defines robbery as the “felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear.”  Robbery is a serious offense that can result in a state prison sentence.
  • Forgery – Under Penal Code 470, a person may be convicted of forgery if they “with the intent to defraud, knowing that he or she has no authority to do so, signs the name of another person or of a fictitious person… is guilty of forgery.”  Additionally, if a person “counterfeits or forges the seal or handwriting of another” or “alters, corrupts, or falsifies any record of any will, codicil, conveyance, or other instrument…” is guilty of forgery.  

Depending on the circumstances, a conviction for forgery may be punishable by up to one (1) year in county jail or by state imprisonment.

  • Embezzlement – Pursuant to Penal Code 503, “Embezzlement is the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been entrusted.”  A criminal conviction for embezzlement carries a harsh sentence.  The length of jail time will depend on the amount of money embezzled.  Embezzlement is considered a “wobbler” and can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony.
  • Identity Theft – California law defines identity theft under Penal Code 530.5, stating that “Every person who willfully obtains personal identifying information… of another person, and uses that information for any unlawful purpose… without the consent of that person.”  A conviction for identity theft is punishable by a fine, a county jail sentence of up to one (1) year or state imprisonment.
  • Credit Card Fraud Credit card fraud is charged under Penal Code 484(g) and may be charged as grand theft if the value obtained from the card exceeds nine hundred and fifty dollars ($950).  Furthermore, a retailer may also be charged with credit card fraud under Penal Code 484(h).
  • Financial Crimes – There are several different kinds of financial crimes, including embezzlement, forgery, credit card fraud, bank fraud, and bribery.  One of the most common financial fraud schemes involves elder or dependent adults.

Find Out How We Can Help

Contact Ridley Defense today to find out how our team of experienced theft attorneys can help reduce or eliminate your criminal charges.  We are dedicated to our clients and will always strive hard to get you the best possible outcome in your case. We care about you and your family.  We are highly respected lawyers in courts throughout the counties of Ventura and Santa Barbara.

Find out how we can help. Remember, you can never hurt your case by contacting us too early, but you can if you contact us too late.  Call out offices today at (805) 208-1866.

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