San Diego Theft Crime Defense Lawyer

Aggressively Challenging Complex Criminal Charges

Theft charges can bring serious punishments, including jail time. But if you hire a skilled criminal defense attorney in San Diego, you can avoid jail time through careful negotiation of a plea or by challenging the charges in court.

The Law Offices of Timothy J. Richardson is a well-established law firm determined to get the best possible outcome for every client. Our lawyer are available for free, confidential initial consultations to anyone arrested for theft in San Diego County. Contact us to find out how we can help.

Types of Theft Charges

  • Shoplifting:
    The most common theft charge is shoplifting, which is a type of theft crime that occurs in a store. Shoplifting can be either “petty theft” or “grand theft,” based on the value of the goods stolen.
  • Petty Theft:
    “Petty theft,” covers thefts of goods worth under $950. The maximum penalty for petty theft is 6 months in the county jail, and or $1000 fine.
  • Grand Theft:
    Taking things worth more than $950 will result in a “grand theft” charge (Penal Code Section 487), such as grand theft auto. If a shoplifting of other theft charge is levied against a minor, it falls under juvenile crime and is handled in a different court system. The maximum penalty for grand theft is 3 years in the state prison, and $1000 fine.
  • Burglary:
    Burglary is another common charge. Burglary does not actually involve taking anything; it only involves entering a place illegally with intent to steal something. Burglary charges are often given along with larceny, grand theft auto, or another theft charge.
  • Armed Robbery:
    The most serious theft crime is armed robbery, in which the alleged perpetrator takes something with the threat of violence. Armed robbery can result in many years in jail, and is usually a strike under California’s Three Strikes law.
  • Forgery:
    According to Penal Code Section 470, every person who with the intent to defraud, knowing that he or she has no authority to do so, signs the name of another person or of a fictitious person to any of the following items:
    • Check
    • Bond
    • Bank bill
    • Cashier’s check
    • Travelers check
    • Money order
    • Receipt for money.

The crime of forgery is a “wobbler,” which means it can be charged either as a felony or a misdemeanor. The maximum sentence as a felony is 3 years in the state prison. The maximum sentence as a misdemeanor is one year in the county jail.

Civil Compromise

A civil compromise is a legal procedure where Mr. Richardson can contact the owners of the property to have them agree to dismiss the charges upon payment for the value of the goods stolen, or a return of the money. The result is that the charge is dismissed in court and there is no criminal record for his client.

Regardless of which theft crime you have been charged with, you need a strong, experienced San Diego criminal attorney on your side. Call (619) 473-5662 or email us through our contact page to set up a free consultation.


  • The Law Offices of Timothy J. Richardson I was highly impressed at the way he was able to explain things and his confidence and knowledge put me at ease.
  • The Law Offices of Timothy J. Richardson If you need assistance with criminal cases, this is the man to call!
  • The Law Offices of Timothy J. Richardson This man saved my life 4 years ago!
  • The Law Offices of Timothy J. Richardson Highly recommend!
  • The Law Offices of Timothy J. Richardson I was amazed on the positive outcome and results of my case. Mr. Richardson is a lawyer who does what he says and is on point.
  • The Law Offices of Timothy J. Richardson Great confident and trusted attorney.
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