Court Rules Change in Petty Theft Limit Is Retroactive, Turning Certain Grand Theft Convictions Into Petty Theft.

There is a general principle that when a law becomes tougher to increase punishment or criminalize behavior that was previously legal, the law can only be prospective, or apply into the future.  When the law decreases punishment or makes certain behavior legal that previously was illegal, it can apply to the past, or be retroactive.  This principle was recently applied to grand theft convictions from the past, insofar as they are now considered petty theft instead.  To read about this, click on the following link –

Conviction Reversed for Burglary by Acetylene Torch at Best Buy.

Burglary by use of an acetylene torch is a special type of burglary.  The prosecutor must prove specific facts.  It is important to understand the requirements of such a charge if one faces such a case or is defending someone accused of this crime.  To read about a case wherein the prosecutor failed to reach these standards, click on the attached link –

What are the Immigration Consequences a Conviction for Shoplifting?

Many people underestimate the immigration consequences of being charged with shoplifting.  This is especially common among immigrants who may have returned all the items that was allegedly stolen and believe that there was no harm to the store. They are then shocked and confused to be charged in court for something that they believe was resolved.  Shoplifting, however, is theft and therefore a crime of moral turpitude.  A conviction can have severe immigration consequenes.  Click on the following link to read about such consequences –


Restitution Order Can Apply To One Who Receives Stolen Property, But Does Not Participate in Burglary

Be careful about receiving property you suspect may be stolen.  Not only can you be prosecuted for receiving stolen property, but you may have to pay restitution to the “victim,” or owner of the property, even if someone else actually committed the theft or robbery.  This does not seem fair to some people.  Click on the link here to read a summary of a published case that explained this legal reality.

Beware – Criminal Liability for Conspiracy to Commit Robbery is Very Broad

Robbery is an act of theft with the use or threatened use of force.  It is therefore easy to understand why our courts take it seriously and punish robbery more harshly than, say, shoplifting.  Judges also punish conspiracy to commit robbery with remarkable vigor. Similarly, courts consider conspiracy to commit robbery in a broad way.  Click on the attached article to read about a published case that did so –

Facing Shoplifting Charges When Your Friend Did the Taking, But You Were With That Person?

We see a lot of cases where two people will go into a store together, walk around and then both people will be arrested for shoplifting when only one of the people did the actual taking.  Is this correct?  Can aiding and abetting shoplifting be a charge?  What is conspiracy liability?  What if the non-taker left the store early and was waiting outside when the other person was arrested?  Click on the link that follows to read an article about this common situation that drives our clients crazy –

What is Commercial Burglary (Penal Code section 459)?

Have you, a family member or a friend been charged with commercial burglary, Penal Code section 459 (PC 459)?  Is this a felony or a misdemeanor?  What must the prosecutor or DA show to prove the case?  What types of arguments are good defenses?  What are the penalties?  Is there prison time or jail time?  Click on the following link to read answers to these questions: