18-Year Old Faces Felony Theft Charges

18-Year Old Faces Felony Theft Charges

A man charged with 68 felony counts of theft is due in court.

Felony Theft Charges Facing 18-Year Old

According to the City of Manhattan Beach Police, 18-year-old Kevin Lucas, was arrested and booked into theVista Detention Center in San Diego County this past June.

Lucas was accused of targeting the vehicles of people, primarily surfers, who leave cell phones and wallets in their cars. Lucas then allegedly, would steal the wallets and use the stolen credit cards in Target stores throughout the counties of San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura. According to police, in the City of Manhattan Beach alone, approximately 35 vehicles were burglarized from January 2016 to May 2017. While not all were attributed to Lucas, many of them have been linked to him.

In July, Manhattan Beach Police detectives searched a residence in Inglewood, Calif., and found evidence that pointed to Lucas as one of the burglary suspects in that area.

San Diego County then issued an arrest warrant for Lucas based on his alleged connection to several burglaries in San Diego. He as taken into custody in June in Vista.

He has been charged with theft and fraud-related charges.

Being Accused of Theft

If you have been arrested and charged with a theft crime, you might be interested to know exactly what this charge means.

Definition of a Theft Crime

A theft crime is a criminal act and is defined as taking the personal property or money of another without their permission. A theft crime can either be charged as a misdemeanor or felony.

Examples of Theft Crimes

Some common theft crimes include:

  • Shoplifting
  • Carjacking
  • Burglary
  • Robbery
  • Armed Robbery
  • Armed Robbery with a weapon
  • Vehicular Theft
  • Embezzlement
  • Larceny
  • Money Laundering
  • Credit Card Fraud
  • Identity Theft

In California the Penal Code Sections 484 and 488 are two sections under which petty theft is handled and prosecuted, depending on the circumstances involved with the charges. Grand Theft versus Petty Theft

Misdemeanor Known as a “Petty” Theft Crime

A misdemeanor theft crime is also known as “petty theft.” A petty theft is when the property or money taken is $400 or less. The punishment for a petty theft crime can include jail time of as much as six months, community service, counseling, significant fines, restitution to the victim or repayment to law enforcement for the cost of the investigation, and/or probation.

The offense of petty theft may also be used to change any future petty theft crimes as a felony, which is called “petty theft with a prior.”

Felony Known as a “Grand” Theft Crime

A felony theft crime is also known as “grand theft.” A grand theft is when the property or money taken is over $400. Punishment for grand theft includes prison time, restitution to the victim and the law enforcement agency, reimbursement for supervision costs, counseling, high court fines, and/or probation or parole.

Theft is the unlawful taking of somebody else’s property without their permission. What defines the difference between grand theft and petty theft is the value, type of property stolen, and method used. California Penal Code Section 487 PC covers grand theft while California Penal Code Sections 484 and 488 both cover petty theft.

Penal Code Section 484 - Petty Theft Violation

Penal Code Section 484 covers general theft crime violations which has many different degrees of theft. Violating this code is a criminal offense which includes extensive fees, probation, and jail time. To prove this type of theft the prosecutor has to prove not only that the person stole another person’s property, but they also have to prove it was without consent of the owner. The prosecutor must also prove the intent of the defendant was to permanently deprive the owner of the stolen property.

Penal Code Section 488 - Petty Theft Misdemeanor

Under Penal Code 488 petty theft involves the theft of property with a value of less than $950 and is charged as either an infraction or misdemeanor. An example of petty theft of this type is shoplifting. Even though it’s a misdemeanor, it’s still on the accused’s permanent record. The punishment of this type of petty theft includes a fine of up to $1,000, time in county jail of up to six months, or both.

Penal Code Section 487 - Grand Theft

Penal Code 487 covers grand theft. It is also the intentional stealing of another person’s property, but the amount must exceed the state’s statutory amount, which in California is $400. Grand theft also includes taking property by force or fear from another person, such as robbery using a firearm or knife, which could also carry the charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

Whenever somebody is accused of a crime, whether it’s fraud or theft, they have to go through a legal process involving court. The process involves various outcomes which can result in a court trial to determine whether you are guilty or innocent. Before a trial occurs, if it occurs, certain steps must be gone through.

General Process for Theft

Following is a general process courts follow, although some courts may have different names for the steps. Unless your criminal attorney advises you otherwise, you should be present for all these steps.

1. Arraignment. An arraignment is when you formally appear before a judge and told the charges filed against you. During the arraignment you’re asked to enter your plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. You can change your plea later.

During the arraignment, the judge outlines any conditions you have to follow to avoid being taken into custody. In order to avoid being taken to jail, you may be required to post a bail or bond until your case is resolved. You have the option to object to any of the conditions the judge sets forth. Its best to have the assistance of a criminal attorney to guide you during this process.

This is where you’ll also get notices of future hearings, including dates for a pre-trial hearing and actual trial.

2. Pre-trial. Pre-trial hearings let the court monitor the case’s progress. During a pre-trial you and the court can resolve any issues that come up while your case is pending. Frequently at this step a case can be “continued” to permit both parties sufficient time to prepare their cases.

3. Motions. Depending on your case type and what determinations the court has already made, various legal motions are able to be brought before the court at this time.

4. Readiness. The “readiness hearing” is when both parties let the court know their “readiness” for trial. This step is scheduled anywhere from several days to several weeks before the beginning of trial. During this step your case can be either continued or resolved.

5. Trial. Although most cases are resolved beforehand, if your case goes to trial you can decide whether you want a trail by jury, where a jury decides your case, or a bench trial, where a judge will decide your case.

If you have been arrested and accused of theft, it’s imperative that you contact a criminal defense attorney such as Sevens Legal Criminal Lawyers. Contact Sevens Legal Criminal Lawyers, today for a free consultation.

Sevens Legal Criminal Lawyers

Criminal Defense Attorneys

3555 4th Ave.

San Diego, CA 92103

Phone: (619) 297-2800