Common Law History
In the days of common law, there was a distinction between the larceny or theft of another person's personal property and the fraudulent taking of the very same property. The thief was always regarded as being very bad and evil and was subjected to severe punishment. However, traditionally, if you managed to obtain someone's property as a result of deception or trickery, you were often regarded as being clever and wily. It was a positive trait. A complete falsehood that resulted in loss of property was something to be admired. If I could convince you to trust me with your property, then you were the fool if I ran off with it. The exception was the servant would be punished, but the con man was praised. Over time, the distinction was abolished. In the original times, people were held accountable to do their own investigations about business dealings. Today, society attempts to protect everyone, so that no one ever investigates.
of Property Crime
Burglary - . If the structure is inhabited, it is first degree burglary. All other burglaries are second degree. First degree burglary also qualifies as a Strike under the Three Strikes provisions, sinceit is a serious felony under Penal Code §1192.7.
Identity Theft - The fastest growing crime seems to be identity theft. California has more victims than most states. It is a felony to use the personal identifying information of another person without their authorization in order to obtain merchandise or credit.
Shoplifting - Probably the most common types of theft offenses are shoplifting and auto theft. The taking of property that is worth more $400 makes it a felony. Some counties in California have diversion programs for first-time shoplifting.
- A person is guilty of arson when he or she willfully and maliciously
- Vandalism involves a person who destroys, damages or defaces with
graffiti the real or personal property of another. This would include
vehicles, signs, fixtures, and buildings belonging to the government.
If the amount of the damage is $400 or more, then it is a felony punishable
by imprisonment in the state prison or by a fine of not more than $10,000.
Felony versus Misdemeanor
- Written by Patrick
H. Kelly, Attorney at Law
- Written by Patrick H. Kelly, Attorney at Law
History of Criminal Law
Three Strikes Law
Firearms and Weapons
White Collar Crime
- Appealing a Felony
- Appealing a Misdemeanor
- Appealing an Infraction
- Appellate Attorney
Post Conviction Relief
- Clear Criminal Record
- Felony Expungement
- Misdemeanor Expungement
California Penal Code
Selecting an Attorney
Criminal Law Specialist
California State Bar