If you or a loved one is accused of a theft crime, let the Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo help you navigate the criminal justice system in Orange County. Attorney Will Bruzzo has been practicing law for over 30 years and is exceptionally well equipped to defend clients against a wide range of theft charges. He understands the profound implications – personal, professional, and legal – that can stem from accusations of theft. His deep understanding of theft crimes and strategies to obtain a dismissal has aided countless people facing difficult predicaments. Protecting your rights and fighting for your freedom is his primary concern. When addressing the complexities and difficulties that come with allegations of theft, rely on Attorney Will Bruzzo to bring you the result you want. Let him be your legal support in this turbulent period. Reach the Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo at (714) 547-4636 to discuss your case.
Types of Theft Crimes
Attorney Will Bruzzo has been practicing law for over 30 years and is the “local guy” in Orange County, California. He focuses on helping those who are facing distinct types of theft charges under the state’s laws. His experience provides knowledgeable guidance through the complicated process that follows after charges are brought. The types of theft crimes we frequently assist clients with include:
- Larceny: This involves taking another person’s property without their permission and with the intention to permanently deprive the owner of its use. This can range from petty theft, which is usually small amounts, to grand theft which involves larger sums.
- Grand Theft [Penal Code Section 487]: This category of crime applies whenever the value of property stolen exceeds $950.00. While the punishment for this crime can include jail and even prison, it is very unusual for jail time to be imposed because it is a non-violent offense and the Courts have little desire to incarcerate non-violent offenders. While this offense is commonly charged as a felony, Attorney Will Bruzzo has succeeded in reducing these charges to misdemeanors, regardless of the value of the property taken. This makes the client eligible for Court Diversion under Penal Code Section 1001.95. If you are eligible for the program and you successfully complete it, then the case may be dismissed even if the prosecution can prove the elements of the crime and despite the loss exceeding $950.00.
- Shoplifting (Petty Theft) [Penal Code Sections 484-488, 490.2 and 490.5]: Typically, this refers to deliberately taking merchandise from a store without paying for it. The severity of shoplifting charges can depend on the value of the goods stolen. Shoplifting and Petty Theft charges are only filed as misdemeanors and thus the value of the property taken may not exceed $950.00. If you exceed that amount you may be charged with Grand Theft (see above). As such, if you are accused of these crimes, you may be eligible for the Court Diversion Program under Penal Code Section1001.95. If you are eligible for the program and you successfully complete it, then the case may be dismissed even if the prosecution can prove the elements of the crime.
- Burglary [Penal Code Sections 459-460]: Burglary includes entering a property unlawfully with the intent to commit theft or any felony once inside. In California, burglary can be designated as first or second degree. First degree burglary refers to burglary of a residence and can be punished by jail and/or prison. It is also considered a strike offense. However, the person charged with this offense may still be eligible for Mental Health Diversion [Penal Code Section 1001.36], Young Adult Court and other dispositions taking the particular situation of the client into consideration in order to remain out of jail and even get the case dismissed. Second degree burglary refers to burglary of a commercial structure and can be filed as a felony or misdemeanor offense. You may be eligible for Court Diversion with a Misdemeanor Commercial Burglary charge under Penal Code Section 1001.95. If you are eligible and complete the program successfully you may get the case dismissed.
- Robbery [Penal Code Sections 211-212.5]: This is a theft crime that involves the use of force or intimidation to take personal property from another individual directly. It can be treated as a highly serious crime and may expose the client to jail or prison time. This is also a strike offense. Despite the serious nature of this crime clients may be eligible for Mental Health Diversion [Penal Code Section 1001.36], Young Adult Court and other dispositions taking the particular situation of the client into consideration, in order to remain out of jail and even get the case dismissed.
- Embezzlement [Penal Code Section 503]: This form of theft occurs when someone wrongfully appropriates funds or property entrusted to them. This charge often arises in the context of an employee who uses their access to take something of value from their employer. The charge can be filed as a felony or a misdemeanor if the value of the property taken is less than $950.00. Clients may be eligible for Mental Health Diversion [Penal Code Section 1001.36], Young Adult Court and other dispositions, taking the particular situation of the client into consideration, in order to remain out of jail and even get the case dismissed. In addition, Attorney Will Bruzzo has managed to get such cases dismissed or reduced in severity by having the client pay for the loss. Under Penal Code Section 1377-1378 [Civil Compromise] the law permits a criminal charge to be dismissed if damages are paid. The Judge and the Victim must be in agreement on this resolution for it to go forward. Mr. Bruzzo has successfully used Civil Compromise on felony matters as well as misdemeanors.
- Auto Theft [Penal Code Section 487(d): Simply put, this involves the theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle. This can be a felony or misdemeanor, despite the value of the auto almost always exceeding $950.00. Clients may be eligible for Mental Health Diversion [Penal Code Section 1001.36], Court Diversion [Penal Code Section 1001.95], Young Adult Court, and other dispositions taking the particular situation of the client into consideration, in order to remain out of jail and even get the case dismissed.
Facing any of these charges is undoubtedly daunting. Attorney Will Bruzzo is well-versed in the various aspects of theft-related laws and is here to provide robust and tenacious representation for his clients.
Defenses to Theft Crimes
When accused of a theft crime, several defenses can be relied upon. The Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo in Orange County, California understands how to navigate these defenses, working tirelessly to achieve the most favorable outcomes for his clients.
- Lack of Intent: Here, the defendant didn’t mean to steal and had a legitimate belief that the property belonged to them; this defense underscores the innocence of the client in terms of intentionality.
- Consent: This defense rests on the premise that the alleged victim had given the defendant explicit permission to use or take the property.
- Entrapment: Entrapment happens when law enforcement persuades an individual to commit a crime they wouldn’t otherwise commit.
- Duress: If a defendant only committed theft because they were under immediate threat of harm, the Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo may show this duress in court to potentially lessen the gravity of the situation.
- Diversion Programs: While not a defense to theft crimes, Diversion programs can lead to a full dismissal without ever entering a guilty plea. Applicable programs in Orange County include Mental Health Diversion [Penal Code Section 1001.36], Court Diversion [Penal Code Section 1001.95], Young Adult Court [Orange County only program], and Military Diversion [Penal Code Section 1001.80].
Each of these defenses to theft crimes requires a nuanced understanding of the law, meticulous preparation, and compelling presentation in court. Trust the Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo to steer your case with commitment and competence.
Consequences of Theft Crime Convictions
Located in the heart of Orange County, California, the Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo is committed to representing and guiding those who find themselves facing theft charges. Dealing with such charges is undoubtedly stressful; the legal complexities, along with the potential consequences — both criminal and collateral — can feel overwhelming. We are here to chart a clear pathway to help you navigate these turbulent waters.
Conviction for a theft crime may not only result in the tangible repercussions of fines and imprisonment but can also bring about untold misery through a myriad of collateral consequences. These repercussions extend to various life facets such as one’s employment prospects, educational opportunities, housing options, and personal reputation. The stain of a criminal conviction can place an immense strain on one’s ability to maintain or secure employment, continue education, or even secure housing. It can also leave a lasting impact on your relationships and reputation within your community.
Our law firm is adeptly equipped to represent you, or a loved one, in the event of theft charges. We stride ahead with a sound understanding of the complexities of such cases and are unwavering in our commitment to uphold your rights and interests. Our loyalty and dedication is towards you, the defendant, in ensuring you receive fair and just treatment at law. Our goal is to minimize the impact of a charge or conviction on your life and future endeavors, standing steadfastly by your side, every step of the way.
Ready to Battle the Prosecution for You
In the face of theft crime allegations in Orange County, California, a solid, strategic defense is paramount. Understanding this, our firm walks with you through the legal battles, dedicated to represent your interests and rights. Attorney Will Bruzzo is a seasoned attorney with over 30 years of experience advocating for the accused, and is ready to match wits with the prosecution. We face down each challenge, working diligently to dissect the evidence, question its validity, expose ambiguities, and highlight any procedural errors. Our comprehensive approach ensures a robust defense, aimed at securing the most favorable judgment. Questions and fears might cloud your mind concerning your case. We’re here to provide you with clear and concise responses and reassure you of our unwavering support. If you find yourself accused of a theft crime, call us at (714) 547-4636. Let’s work together towards finding a resolution.