Theft/Dishonesty Offence

We represent individuals charged with a wide array of theft/dishonesty offences. The most common offence is PC 484 petty theft, most commonly known as shoplifting. In such cases we work hard to negotiate a plea deal that will either involve a dismissal upon the completion of a theft awareness course, or an individual working for a dismissal.

most common theft offences

Petty Theft

Under Penal Code 484 and 488, this is the stealing of property valued up to $950. Although the offense is a misdemeanor, a second offense can be charged as a felony under Penal Code 666 (Petty Theft with a Prior).

Grand Theft

Under Penal Code 487, this is the stealing of property valued at more than $950. It may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.

Grand Theft of a Firearm

Any theft of a firearm counts as “grand theft”, regardless of the value of the gun. This offense is a felony if the firearm is more than $950 in value, and a misdemeanor otherwise.

Grand Theft Auto

California law treats theft of an automobile as “grand theft” if the value of more that $950, and “petty theft” if the value is $950.00 or less.


Entering a structure with the intent to commit a felony or theft inside constitutes burglary in California. If the structure is a home or “inhabited dwelling,” residential burglary may be charged (which counts as a “strike” pursuant to California Three Strikes Laws).

Auto Burglary

Breaking into a locked vehicle for the purpose of stealing it constitutes “auto burglary” under California law.


Entering a commercial establishment while it is open with the intent to commit petty theft inside is the crime of shoplifting under Penal Code 459.5 PC.


A person who wrongfully steals or misappropriates property entrusted to him by the rightful owner may be charged with a California embezzlement.

Receiving Stolen Property

This occurs when someone purchases or receives property that he/she knows (or reasonably should know) is stolen.


A person commits Robbery in California if he uses violence, force or threats to take property from someone’s immediate possession. This too counts as a strike under California Three Strikes Laws.


This is, in essence, robbery of a vehicle. If one uses force or fear to take a vehicle from someone’s immediate possession, a California carjacking may be charged.

Mail Theft

Theft of US mail under Penal Code 530.5(e) is a distinct offense. It occurs whenever someone knowingly takes mail that does not belong to them from a mailbox, post office or letter carrier. This crime is also charged when someone knowingly removes the contents of someone else’s mail or knowingly receives or possesses stolen mail.