Petty Theft Vs. Grand Theft in California


There are multiple types of levels of theft crimes in the state of California. There are differences between burglary, robbery, shoplifting, petty theft and grand theft. While they are all theft crimes, the offenses and penalties involved are different. The two types of theft being compared are petty theft and grand theft. Grand theft is a more severe offense of taking property due to the monetary value involved. This offense is generally charged as a felony offense, but it is a 'wobbler' offense in California. A wobbler is an offense that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony based on the decision of the prosecutor. Petty theft, on the other hand, is less serious and involves property of smaller value. This offense is generally charged as a misdemeanor offense with lesser penalties.

In order to be considered grand theft in California, the amount of the property involved must be more than $950. Penal Code section 487 provides the provisions regarding grand theft. If this offense is charged as a felony, you may be facing up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000. For theft offenses involving property with a value under $950, petty theft is the classification. For more information regarding this type of theft offense, take a look at Penal Code section 488. Petty theft is charged as a misdemeanor offense in California and is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. The classification of grand theft or petty theft depends not only on the value of the property, but also on the type of property. If the property was a firearm or vehicle, the offense is automatically considered grand theft. To further discuss the difference between these types of theft, contact Moises Aguilar, Attorney at Law today!