I recently was charged with 484a, even though the item never left the property, my workplace.

Asked about 2 years ago - Torrance, CA

I cannot afford a lawyer and the public defenders office is telling that i do not qualify for their assistance. I have no priors and have a stellar work history. Any suggestions?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Greg Hagopian


    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It is not always necessary for an object to leave the building for there to be a theft. If the object us moved with the intention to claim false ownership (you claimed is as yours) that is enough. Proving this can be difficult for a prosecutor, however if you still had the opportunity to pay for the object or put but back. You do need a lawyer. The public defender cannot deny you services, though they may charge you later if you have sufficient income. Ask the court to appoint you an attorney and explain why you can't afford one.

  2. Curtis Lamar Harrington Jr

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Asportation, if this purported crime involves an item, need not be a great distance.

    As you can see, the statute is a can of worms. This is WHY you need to hire a criminal law attorney NOW, (a) to get ahead of the case, and (b) to help you analyze the facts and do what you need to minimize the probability of being convicted.

    484(a) Every person who shall feloniously steal, take, carry,
    lead, or drive away the personal property of another, or who shall
    fraudulently appropriate property which has been entrusted to him or
    her, or who shall knowingly and designedly, by any false or
    fraudulent representation or pretense, defraud any other person of
    money, labor or real or personal property, or who causes or procures
    others to report falsely of his or her wealth or mercantile character
    and by thus imposing upon any person, obtains credit and thereby
    fraudulently gets or obtains possession of money, or property or
    obtains the labor or service of another, is guilty of theft. In
    determining the value of the property obtained, for the purposes of
    this section, the reasonable and fair market value shall be the test,
    and in determining the value of services received the contract price
    shall be the test. If there be no contract price, the reasonable and
    going wage for the service rendered shall govern. For the purposes
    of this section, any false or fraudulent representation or pretense
    made shall be treated as continuing, so as to cover any money,
    property or service received as a result thereof, and the complaint,
    information or indictment may charge that the crime was committed on
    any date during the particular period in question. The hiring of any
    additional employee or employees without advising each of them of
    every labor claim due and unpaid and every judgment that the employer
    has been unable to meet shall be prima facie evidence of intent to

    Curt Harrington Patent & Tax Law Attorney Certified Tax Specialist by the California Board of Legal... more
  3. Neil James Fraser

    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The previous answers are both excellent. You may want to reconsider whether or not you can afford private counsel. Call me for a free consultation.

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