When deciding on a course of action for committing what you believe to be a crime, it is important to know the difference between petty theft and grand theft. The consequences for both crimes are vastly different. For example, if someone commits petty theft they could face up to 6 months in jail or $1,000 in fines. However, if someone commits grand theft they could go to prison for 5 years. This blog post will break down 4 major differences between these two crimes so that you can make an educated decision when choosing your criminal path.
1. Amount of Property Stolen
The amount of property stolen is the most common difference between grand theft and petty theft. Property worth $950 or more will result in a charge of grand theft, while property less than $950 will result in a charge of petty theft. However, if you are charged with both crimes I can provide you with an attorney who will help me select the best defense strategy for your specific case.
2. No Victim Requirments for Grand Theft Charges but Requirements for Petit Theft Charges
Another significant difference between the two crimes is the gender requirement. Grand theft charges do not require that the “victim” be another person or entity such as a business, whereas petty theft charges do require that the “victim” be another person. Additionally, if no one is present during your alleged crime you may still face grand theft charges. Furthermore, even if someone was present and their consent could have been given it does not bar grand theft charges from going forward. However, if someone’s consent wasn’t given for a petty theft charge they cannot go forward with those charges no matter how much evidence there is to support them.
3. Other Consequences of Grand Theft Conviction: You May Be Deemed a Felony or Misdemeanor
The last major difference between grand theft and petty theft in California is what happens when you are convicted of the crime. When someone is convicted of either charge, they can be deemed a misdemeanor or a felony. However, if someone is charged with grand theft they will automatically be deemed a felony whereas that isn’t necessarily the case for petty theft charges. Additionally, there may be other consequences to being convicted of grand theft such as forfeiture of any stolen property, no longer being able to possess firearms, or being required to pay restitution for damages caused by their actions.
4. Grand Theft is a Felony, Petit Theft is a Misdemeanor
This is the most obvious difference between the two crimes but it’s also probably one of the most important. The fact that one of these crimes is a felony and the other isn’t can make all the difference if you are considering your criminal defense options. For example, if someone is charged with grand theft they will go to prison for 5 years or more whereas someone charged with petty theft will be in jail for up to 6 months or fined $1,000. This just proves how making a semantics mistake could cost you years behind bars.
In conclusion, grand theft and petty theft are two different crimes in California. Both charges will affect you differently so it is important to know the consequences for both of them before deciding whether committing either crime is right for you. If you do choose to commit one of these crimes I can provide you with a criminal defense attorney who will help me create your best possible defense strategy against the charges.