‘Tis the season not only for holiday cheer but also for a surge in crime as well. But what happens if you steal Christmas ornaments—is that actually a crime? It certainly is! Stealing is always a crime and stealing something as sentimental as holiday displays is one that the local Ventura and Los Angeles police and theft victims work very hard to track down the perpetrators.
California state theft and larceny laws govern this type of holiday theft; and whether the theft is intended as a harmless prank or to steal and profit off of the items, this is something you do not want to do this holiday season because the legal consequences are very real.
Holiday theft charges usually start at petty theft (PC 484 & PC 488) for those items under $400 and go up from there. One thing about holiday décor that many people do not realize is just how much a decorative item might be worth and they may quickly see their charges jump from petty theft to a much more serious grand theft quickly. Homeowners spend thousands of dollars on front yard holiday displays and what may look like a simple inflatable Santa and some décor to you can land you with grand theft charges quickly.
Here's a look at some of the penalties associated with these serious criminal charges:
* Prison time
* Community service
* Criminal record
If the theft is not your first criminal charge or it also involved the use of a firearm or breaking and entering then the penalties associated with a guilty conviction go up substantially and you could be spending years in prison in addition to thousands of dollars in fine.
Our first piece of advice is obviously not to take anything that is not yours this holiday season (or ever) but if it is too late for that then you will want to get in touch with a Ventura or Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer. Whether dealing with a burglary, petty theft or grand theft charges this holiday season, it is always worth fighting. There are defenses available to these serious criminal charges that we can use to reduce or completely eliminate the charges against you. Give yourself the best Christmas gift of all this holiday season—a clean record and get in touch with us here at the Kann California Defense Group today!