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If you were recently arrested for allegedly taking another person’s property, you probably have a lot of questions about your current situation. Theft charges are quite serious in California, so your position at work, school or even in your local community could be at risk. You could also end up spending time behind bars if convicted. Here are a few things you should know about theft charges.
Theft charges can be either misdemeanors or felonies, which carry different criminal consequences If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you could spend up to a year in a county jail. Felony charges are usually for allegations of theft that involve more than $950, and sentences could land you in prison for as long as three years. Spending time behind bars is on top of fines you will also probably have to pay if convicted.
However, accusations of theft are not as cut and dried as they may seem. False accusations are sadly not that uncommon, and you could even be accused of stealing property that is actually yours. Instances of miscommunication can also lead to an arrest for theft. Examples of simply miscommunication include if another other person consented but later forgot, or you never intended to steal.
Like with many other criminal charges, allegations of theft are often nuanced. This means that getting the details right is extremely important. We have guided many California defendants through dealing with theft charges, and you can find out more about this process right here on our website.