Theft, burglary and related charges, whether felony or misdemeanor in nature, require a serious defense from a knowledgeable San Diego criminal defense lawyer.

Theft and Burglary Charges

At Spital & Associates, our San Diego theft lawyers are experienced defending against all varieties of theft and burglary charges, including:

San Diego Theft Defense Attorneys

As your personal, experienced and accomplished criminal defense lawyers, we know the ins and outs of theft and burglary defense and we will fight for you with a dedicated, passionate and aggressive pursuit of an outcome that limits your exposure to harsh criminal penalties such as incarceration in the county jail or state prison.

Our founder, Sam Spital, brings more than 49 years of experience to this area of criminal defense, including experience as a criminal prosecutor. This gives him valuable insight into the other side of these matters, which benefits you as his client as he or one of his seasoned associates prepares the most artful and persuasive case possible.

Petty Theft and Shoplifting Defense

California Penal Code 484 and 488 defines theft as the unlawful taking of another individual’s property. The crime of petty theft or shoplifting varies based on the nature of the theft, the location of the crime and the value of the goods taken. The exact value of goods at which a petty theft becomes grand theft is $950. Petty theft will be charged when that property is valued at $950 or less. The typical shoplifting crime occurs in one of four ways:

  1. Taking and carrying away another individual’s property without consent. This is the most typical form of petty theft, usually seen in a shoplifting prosecution (“San Diego larceny “).
  2. Changing the price tag on an item to pay a lesser amount for it (“trick”) is another form of petty theft or shoplifting.
  3. Depriving another of something after it was entrusted to you constitutes theft, often characterized as embezzlement. A common example of San Diego embezzlement is when your employer gives you access to the checking account, petty cash drawer/box or a credit card and you use it for your own purpose or gain.
  4. Making false representations to obtain possession and title to money, labor, personal property or land (San Diego false pretenses) is another form of theft.

Petty theft and shoplifting are misdemeanors.

San Diego Burglary Defense Attorneys

Burglary is the entering a home, apartment, room, store or building with the intent to commit a theft pursuant to Penal Code section 459. In theft and burglary cases, the burden rests on the prosecution; they must prove the defendant entered the dwelling or property with the intent of committing a criminal offense. Our San Diego burglary defense attorneys are skilled and will fight for you to challenge the issue of intent and any other element of the crime, including procedural deficiencies to find weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.

Theft and Burglary Penalties

The penalties for theft and burglary crimes are based upon certain criteria, including the following:

  • The nature of the offense
  • The severity of the crime
  • Nature and variety of prior criminal convictions
  • Overall criminal history of the defendant charged with a theft or burglary crime
  • Whether the defendant is currently on probation
  • If the defendant has completed the terms of a previous criminal sentence
  • The actual or potential harm to the public
  • The financial benefit to the defendant
  • Whether the victim was retrained (example: false imprisonment)
  • The defendant’s age
  • The victim’s vulnerability
  • The defendant’s dependence on drugs or narcotics
  • The defendant’s psychiatric history
  • Evidence of rehabilitation

Contact Us

If you are being investigated for, have been accused, charged with or arrested for theft or burglary, you do not need to wait to obtain bail. Don’t wait and call 619-583-0350 now or contact us online for a free consultation. Whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony, you can rely on us to develop the best possible defense and offense for you.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult a San Diego theft attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.


Main Offices
8880 Rio San Diego Drive, Suite 800
San Diego, CA 92108-1642
Telephone: 619-583-0350
Fax: 619-583-1850

Associates available 24/7.
Call (619) 583-0350 or send us an e-mail.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.