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

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?

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Attorney answers 3


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 Specialization PATENTAX.COM This communication is general information and not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This communication should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice. Please note that no attorney-client relationship exists between the sender and the recipient of this message in the absence of either (1) a signed fee contract and (2) remission of an agreed-upon retainer. Absent such an agreement and retainer, I am not engaged by you as an attorney, nor is any other member of my law firm.


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.


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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