Los Angeles Grand Theft of a Firearm Defense Lawyers
California takes a harsh stance on crimes involving a firearm, and prosecutors may also demand hefty penalties if a defendant is accused of stealing a firearm. Typically, stolen property is under either petty or grand theft laws, but stealing a firearm can lead to felony charges if the defendant has a prior sex crime conviction, even if the gun had a low value.
If you were charged with grand theft of a firearm, you need a strong defense. Los Angeles district courts can level harsh penalties against any defendant who violates state and local gun laws, especially if it overlaps with a theft crime. Winning your case requires a Los Angeles firearm grand theft defense lawyer at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP. We can use our more than 25 years of experience to fight for your freedom. To speak to a dedicated legal team, call us at (213) 688-0460 and receive a free case evaluation.
Under California law, grand theft is defined as unlawfully taking the property of another with a value of $950 or more. Before Proposition 47 was passed in 2014, theft of a firearm of any value was considered grand theft. Now, grand theft of a firearm is charged when either:
- The firearms stolen are worth $950 or more; or
- The defendant has a prior sex crime conviction that requires him to register as a sex offender, or a conviction for any of several serious felony offenses, such as rape, murder, or sexual abuse of a child.
There are several ways to commit grand theft firearm, but larceny is the most common form of this offense. It can be defined as follows:
- The defendant took possession of a firearm that belonged to another person.
- The defendant took the firearm without the consent of the owner or the owner’s agent.
- When the defendant took possession of the firearm, he or she intended to deprive the owner of it permanently, or to remove it from the owner’s possession long enough to deprive the owner of a major portion of its enjoyment or value.
- The defendant moved the firearm, even if it was only a small distance, and kept it for any period of time, no matter how brief.
The other scenario is using false pretenses, which means the defendant allegedly used fraud or manipulation to acquire another’s firearm. Under state law, it is false pretense if you intend to deceive someone and either:
- Make a promise you do not intend to keep;
- Make a statement you know is false;
- Fail to provide information you are obliged to provide; or
- Recklessly claim something is true with no reason to believe it is.
Grand theft of a firearm by false pretenses involves knowingly and intentionally deceiving a gun owner with a false pretense, to persuade the owner to give you possession and ownership of his or her guns. It also involves the gun owner letting you take possession of those firearms because he or she was relying on your false pretense.
Here are some examples of grand theft of a firearm:
- A man with a prior felony conviction for rape steals a pistol worth $400 out of a parked vehicle.
- A woman borrows a valuable gun from her neighbor for the alleged purpose of showing it to her husband and then never returns the gun.
- A small group of men intercept a delivery to a gun store, stealing firearms totaling $10,000 in value.
Grand theft firearm is a felony offense that carries serious penalties, including:
- 16 months, two years, or three years in prison;
- Up to $10,000 in fines; and/or
- Felony probation.
In addition, if you are charged with any felony after a grand theft firearm conviction, you will face double the normal sentence for the subsequent offence. You can also lose your right to own a firearm.
At Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP, we pride ourselves on delivering the best legal defense available for every client. If we take on your case, we can work to protect your future, by demonstrating that:
- You were falsely accused.
- There was no intent to steal.
- The firearm belonged to you (or you believed it did).
- Total value of the firearms was $950 or less.
- You did not have a prior sex crimes conviction.
Our Los Angeles theft crime defense lawyers have decades of experience handling complex, high-stakes cases. Do not trust your case to someone with less experience; let a skilled legal team advocate for your best interests. Call us at (213) 688-0460 to schedule a free consultation if you are facing grand theft of a firearm charges.
Recent Case Results
- Complete Dismissal of Molestation Charges
Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
- Decision Set Aside
Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
- Probation with No Jail Time for Drug Money Laundering Charge
Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time on a misdemeanor conviction.