Criminal Attorney for Theft Crimes in Los Angeles

Hardworking Attorneys Who Give You All the Options

Compared to other more violent crimes, theft crimes can at times be dealt with in a very simple and even mechanical way by prosecutors. Some prosecutors will briefly glance at what property was stolen and whether violence was alleged, and then recommend a sentence based on a formula that takes little else into account. But, depending on the case, it is very possible there are other options available to an individual if the circumstances surrounding the alleged theft are looked at more closely.

Theft crimes generally refer to one of the following:

  • Petty Theft (value of stolen property is $950 or less)
  • Grand Theft (value of stolen property is greater than $950)
  • Receipt of Stolen Property
  • Robbery or Burglary
  • Embezzlement
  • Shoplifting

The Most Important Thing to Know About Theft Crimes

Regardless of the type of theft, the history of the accused, or even who the alleged victim is, the most important thing to know about a theft crime is the value and nature of what was stolen. This is because most district attorneys’ offices adopt a policy that gives significant weight to compensating the victim, not just punishing the accused. That’s why the value of the missing property, and whether it has been or can be recovered, is often the starting point from which nearly all negotiations begin. However, it does not have to be where they end. Depending on the case and the prosecutor, there is a chance a much more lenient resolution can be agreed upon instead of incarceration.

Restitution or Civil Compromise

Even if the stolen property can no longer be returned, in some cases it may be possible to come to an arrangement with the prosecutor that allows an accused to pay back the value of the property over time. In addition, how much must be paid back can also be negotiated. A prosecutor may originally request a certain amount (referred to as “restitution”), but by investigating and arguing the true value of what was lost and how much it would cost to replace it, a good defense attorney may be able to reduce the total owed. Still in other cases, a defense attorney may be able to negotiate directly with the victim, and reach an agreement that may bypass the district attorney altogether (referred to as a “civil compromise”).

Ultimately, if there is no violence alleged, it is important to recognize that there often are other options. They may take time to work out, but with diligence and patience, one accused of a theft crime may be able to receive a much more favorable outcome than what a prosecutor first offers. If you are unsure where you stand, call Benjamin Kanani today at (213) 542-0748 to see what alternatives might be available to you.