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Can I Go to Jail for Theft in the State of California?

When someone is charged with theft, they have a lot to consider. Though California does not always prosecute theft crimes as strictly as other states, those convicted still likely face a wide range of very serious and long-lasting penalties. If you’ve recently received a theft charge, you may wonder if you’ll go to jail upon conviction. Please continue reading and speak with a competent Tehama County theft lawyer to learn more about the penalties you may face and our Cohen Criminal Law can help you fight them.

Will I go to jail if I’m convicted of a theft crime in the state of California?

“Theft” is a rather broad term used to describe several types of crimes that involve taking property from another person or entity without their consent. Theft can either come in the form of taking property/assets or unlawfully taking the value of labor or services. In California, theft is formally recognized as a crime of larceny. Unfortunately, no matter the theft charge, if you’re caught stealing property, there’s a strong chance you’ll find yourself facing a jail sentence.

What specifically are the penalties for larceny in CA?

The penalties you’ll face depend on the value of the property or services stolen. If you’re found guilty of stealing property valued at $950 or less, you’ll likely face petty theft charges, which may warrant a six-month jail sentence and a $1,000 fine. That said, if you’re found guilty of stealing property valued at more than $950, you’ll likely face felony grand theft charges, which come with even harsher penalties, including between six months and three years of incarceration. Regardless of the charges you’re facing, it’s always best to hire an attorney with significant experience in the field.

It’s also important to note that anyone convicted of a crime here in California will develop a criminal record, which can impact their life for years down the road, including when it comes to housing and employment opportunities. The bottom line is that anyone facing theft crime charges should make it a point to speak with a competent Red Bluff criminal lawyer who can fight those charges at every turn. We are dedicated to representing all those charged with crimes in California, and we’re prepared to help you as well. Give us a call today so we can get started working on your case.


Attorney Cohen has fought on behalf of those charged with crimes and traffic violations for over 30 years, and he is ready to fight for you, too. Contact Cohen Criminal Law today to schedule your free initial consultation with our firm.