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San Diego Theft Attorney

At Kern Law, APC, we have represented clients for almost two decades to defend against serious theft allegations. Penal Code Section 487, Grand Theft, is prosecuted in San Diego County as a felony, assuming the amount is over $950. PC 488 is petty theft, which means the amount taken was less than $950 and will be prosecuted as a misdemeanor. The distinction is that a felony conviction may result in prison, while a misdemeanor may include county jail for up to six months. Both crimes, however, may lead to probation, fines, public work service, and other serious consequences.

To establish that someone is guilty of Theft, the district attorney has to prove the following:

  1. The person charged took possession of property owned by someone else;
  2. The person charged took the property without the owner’s consent;
  3. When the person charged took the property, they intended to deprive the owner of it permanently or to remove it from the owner’s possession for so extended a period of time that the owner would be deprived of a major portion of the value or enjoyment of the property);
  4. The person charged moved the property, even a small distance, and kept it for any period of time, however brief.


To intent required for PC 487 is that the person charged must either intend to deprive the owner permanently or deprive the owner of a major portion of the property’s value or enjoyment.


There may be many defenses applicable to your case. For example, was the search that led to the alleged stolen items legal, or did the search violate your Fourth Amendment rights against an illegal search and seizure? Did law enforcement elicit statements that violated your Miranda Rights? Was there an intent or was there a misunderstanding or mistake? Was the wrong person charged with Theft? There may be many more defenses that are specific to your particular case.

PC 487, Grand Theft, is a very serious allegation and requires an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you are under investigation, have been arrested, or charged with Penal Code Section 487, contact my office today. We will provide a free consultation.