Criminal Defense Blog

Grand Theft has Just Gotten More Grand!

For as long as anyone can remember, petty theft was the theft of property valuing $400 or less. That made grand theft the theft of property valued at $400 or more. Of course back in the day, $400 was a lot of money. But it’s gotten to the point where if someone lifts a coat, shoes, or an iphone they could be hit with felony charges of grand theft. Governor Schwarzenegger signed a bill this month that boosts the dollar threshold, from $400 to $950. It’s about time.

Similarly petty theft with a prior – a felony offense – could be charged if a shoplifter has any petty theft prior. But last month a little-known provision of Chelsea’s Law beefs up the requirements for petty theft with a prior. To be charged with that crime, an accused must have three prior convictions for petty theft. Chelsea’s Law, named after Chelsea King, a 17-year-old girl who was raped and murdered by a convicted sex offender, mandates life in prison without parole for persons convicted of violent sex crimes against children with aggravating factors present.

The opinions and information in this blog are not intended to be legal advice, and are not a substitute for obtaining advice from a qualified attorney about your particular matter.