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Petty Theft With Priors
What is Petty Theft (P.C. 484 & 488)?
Petty theft is the unlawful taking of another’s property, that is valued at $950 or less, was not taken directly off of the person, and the property taken was not a car or a firearm.
What is Petty Theft with a Prior (P.C. 666)?
A repeat theft offender with three or more qualifying prior convictions or with one qualifying prior conviction and either a prior sex crime conviction, serious felony conviction or violent felony conviction, who is subsequently convicted of a petty theft offense under P.C. 484 and 488.
What is an Enhancement?
An enhancement is an increase penalty for a subsequent petty theft conviction, if three or more priors meet the conditions under P.C. 666. If the conditions are met then the misdemeanor charge of petty theft is enhanced to a wobbler offense in California.
What is a Wobbler Offense?
A wobbler in California is an offense that the prosecution may choose to charge as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The prosecution looks to the underlying circumstances of the offense and the person’s criminal history to make the determination.
What kind or prior convictions qualify for enhancement under P.C. 666?
The following theft related offenses qualify for enhancement of petty theft:
P.C. 211 for Robbery, P.C. 215 for Carjacking, P.C. 459 for Burglary, P.C. 487 for Grand Theft, P.C. 488 for Petty Theft, P.C. 496 for Felony Receiving Stolen Property, and V.C. 10851 for Grand Theft Auto.
What must the prosecution prove to increase the penalty for a subsequent petty theft conviction?
The prosecution must prove that the person has qualifying prior convictions for a theft offense and as a result of each conviction the person served time in jail.
What are the penalties for Petty Theft?
A misdemeanor conviction for petty theft may result in a maximum fine of one thousand dollars and up to six months in county jail.
What are the penalties for Petty Theft with a Prior?
A felony conviction for petty theft with a prior may result in an increased penalty of sixteen months, two years or three years in prison.
What legal defenses exist for Petty Theft?
No Intent to Steal: You did not intend to take or permanently deprive the person of his or her property.
Rightful Owner: You took the property but you have an honest belief that you are the rightful owner of the specific property that you took. While your believe may be mistaken, so long as it is honest, it will be a defense to the theft charges against you.
False Accusation: You are innocent, wrongly mistaken for the shoplifter and wrongfully accused of the taking of another’s property.
If you have any questions about a petty theft with priors under PC 666 enhancement contact San Diego Criminal Attorney Vik Monder at 619.405.0063 or visit San Diego Criminal Defense