Grand Theft: California Penal Code Section 487 PC
California Penal Code Section 487 – Grand Theft criminal statute makes it a crime for an individual to take the money, personal property, real property, or labor of another person that has a value that exceeds $950. Said differently, any person who steals an automobile, gun, or any property that has a value that exceeds $950 is guilty of grand theft in the State of California.
If you have been charged with grand theft under Penal Code Section 487 PC, you should immediately contact an experienced Los Angeles Theft Attorney at The H Law Group to defend you and keep you from going to prison.
California law punishes those convicted of theft harshly. Even a first-time grand theft offense can result in a maximum prison sentence of up to three years. So, if you have been charged with Grand Theft in California, you should immediately contact a theft defense lawyer to represent you to mitigate the potential consequences that you face. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.
Text of Grand Theft Criminal Statute – Penal Code Section 487
According to California Penal Code Section 487 PC, “Grand theft is theft committed in any of the following cases: When the money, labor, or real or personal property taken is of a value exceeding nine hundred fifty dollars ($950), or when the property takes is an automobile or a firearm.”
In a nutshell, a person can be charged with grand theft is one of the three following situations:
- He steals property that is worth more than $950
- He steals a firearm
- He steals an automobile
Note: For an individual to be convicted of grand theft, he need not steal one item of property that is worth more than $950, the aggregate amount of stolen property suffices. For example, if a person walks into Nordstrom’s and steals a pair of shoes valued at $400, a bottle of perfume valued at $500, and a watch valued at $300, the aggregate amount of items stolen $1200 can be used to satisfy the value of the stolen property.
Proving an Individual Guilty of Committing Grand Theft Under CPC 487
1) Grand Theft by Larceny
For the prosecution to convict an individual of grand theft by larceny under Penal Code 487 PC, it must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution fails to prove even one element, it will not be able to convict the defendant of grand theft.
The prosecution must prove the following elements:
- The defendant took the property of another person, gun, or automobile
- The defendant took the property without the owner’s consent
- The defendant had the intent to permanently deprive the property owner of his property, and
- The value of the property taken exceeds $950 (firearms and automobile do not need to exceed this amount)
- The defendant moved the property (the slightest movement suffices)
2) Grand Theft by False Pretenses
For the prosecution to convict an individual of grand theft by false pretenses, it must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant took the property of another person
- The defendant did so by knowingly and intentionally deceiving the victim by making false statements (telling them something that is not true)
- The defendant had the intent to deceive the victim to take his property
- The victim relied on the defendant’s misleading or false statements, and
- The defendant took possession of the property at issue, and
- The property at issue is valued at above $950
3) Grand Theft by Trick
For the prosecution to convict an individual of grand theft by trick, it must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant took another person’s property
- The defendant used fraud or deceit to get the victim to hand over his property,
- The defendant took possession of the property while intending to permanently keep the property,
- The defendant kept the property for a period of time, and
- The property owner did not intend to transfer ownership (title) of the property to the defendant, and
- The property at issue is valued at over $950
- The difference between grand theft by false pretenses and larceny by trick is that in a larceny by trick situation, the defendant gains possession and only possession of the property at hand. However, larceny by trick applies to a situation where the defendant gains the property but not the title to the property by committing deceit or fraud, meaning there is no carrying away requirement.