Richard Wynn, Esq.

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Long Beach, CA 90802

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Theft related offenses in California are called by many names, theft, burglary, shoplifting, petty theft, grand theft, auto theft, joyriding, embezzlement, extortion, identity theft, fraud etc. However, each of these offenses relates to conduct involving the taking property of another without their consent. Some of the offenses are charged depending upon the value of the items taken: (petty theft or grand theft over $400.00), their location: (burglary, shoplifting, even defrauding an Inn Keeper or "Dine & Dash"), how the theft is accomplished: (extortion or fraud), the proximity to the victim: (robbery, car jacking & grand theft person) by relationship to the victim (embezzlement) or to the type of item stolen: (auto theft, joyriding, computer access theft or identity theft for credit cards etc.).

At times an arrest will be made for theft when there was never any intent to steal. It may be that someone has their hands full and simply places an item in a pocket with every intention of paying for it. But, unfortunately, they simply forget to pay for the item and are arrested for shoplifting. Theft is a crime of "moral turpitude" which can have far reaching ramifications, including denial of both employment and professional licenses.


What is shoplifting?
Shoplifting is the taking of items without consent from a commercial establishment, such as a department store or market.

Why was I charged with commercial burglary when I thought I was arrested for shoplifting?
When someone enters a building with the intent to steal or commit any other felony it is burglary. This is usually charged when someone is found with bags or devices brought in to the store to assist in concealing the stolen merchandise. Using these bags or devices arguably shows intent to steal was in the person's mind before entering the store.

I've heard of "kleptomania" what is it?
Kleptomania is a mental disorder associated with a compulsive need to steal. Kleptomania is associated with a recurrent failure to resist impulses to steal objects that are not needed for personal use or for their monetary value; increasing sense of tension immediately before committing the theft and pleasure, gratification, or relief at the time of committing the theft. The stealing is not committed to express anger or vengeance and is not in response to a delusion or a hallucination.

Will I be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony? And what is the punishment?
Theft can be prosecuted either as a misdemeanor or a felony. The value of the item taken or any prior convictions often determines the seriousness of the crime. Items valued at under $400.00 are prosecuted as misdemeanor petty theft. Items in excess of $400.00 can be prosecuted as felony grand theft. The punishment for petty theft is up to six months in the county jail and by a fine of up to $1,000 and the punishment for grand theft could either be county jail or state prison plus fines up to $10,000.00. If convicted, a mandatory jail sentence and restitution to the victim is almost always ordered as a condition of probation.

If you have been arrested for a theft offense then please call us immediately for a FREE CONSULTATION at Wynn Law Group.
We have handled many cases related to theft. We understand your feelings and the need for confidentiality. We are quite successful in resolving these matters. In the appropriate circumstances, a "Civil Compromise" can be reached whereby the merchant can agree to drop all charges!

When your future is on the line...Call Wynn Law Group for a free & confidential consultation at (562) 590-3700 or contact us on line.

Richard Wynn is admitted to practice law in all California State Court as well as the Central and Northern Districts of United States District Court.

      Wynn Law Group represents clients in Los Angeles County: Alhambra, Bellflower, Lakewood, Downey, El Monte, Beverly Hills, Compton, Culver City, Glendale, Huntington Park, Inglewood, Long Beach, Norwalk, Pasadena, Pomona, South Gate, Hawaiian Park San Pedro, Torrance; Orange County: Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Tustin, Stanton, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, San Clemente, Westminster, Anaheim, Fountain Valley, Orange, Cerritos, Buena Park, Garden Grove, Fullerton, Brea, Placentia, Yorba Linda; and Inland Empire: Riverside, San Bernardino, Ontario, Moreno Valley, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Corona, Palm Springs, Upland, Chino, Victorville, Redlands, Temecula, Indio, Colton, Highland, Murrieta, Palm Desert, Perris, Lake Elsinore, Norco, Banning, Beaumont, Woodcrest.

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