If you’ve been charged with, arrested for, or accused of breaking looting laws under California Penal Code Section 463, contact a federal criminal defense attorney right away.
There are severe penalties for those convicted of looting or breaking other laws under this code and by working with the best criminal lawyer in Los Angeles, you give yourself the best chance at avoiding a terrible outcome.
The technical definition for looting is to steal goods from a place, typically during a state of emergency. These states of emergency could be anything from a natural disaster to a large-scale riot.
California’s looting laws cover more than just stealing. People who are charged with looting are often also charged with other crimes under California’s Penal Code:
- Criminal Trespass – This crime is also called malicious mischief due to the act of taking or damaging someone else’s property.
- Vandalism – This occurs when someone defaces, damages, or destroys someone else’s property.
- Participating in a Riot – When two or more people threaten to use force against others, it can be considered a riot.
Accusation by Technology
Just because alleged looters aren’t arrested at the time of the crime, it doesn’t mean they are off the hook. The modern world is full of technology that can be used in police investigations.
Video surveillance is everywhere, from streetlight cameras to business security devices, most public actions are being recorded. That’s not even counting all of the cell phone and news cameras capturing events.
Law enforcement is often able to access video coverage of the event in hopes to identify looters and instigators. With advancements in facial recognition technology and how open people are in their social media accounts, it’s often possible to identify people who break the law.
Arrests soon follow, even if it takes a while to gather, process, and examine the footage.
If Accused, Take Action
Even with advanced technology at their disposal, law enforcement can still make mistakes when reviewing video footage. That means you could be arrested, detained, questioned, or investigated for looting, even if you’re innocent.
If you are contacted by the police, it’s best to assert your right to stay quiet and ask for your right to a Los Angeles federal criminal defense attorney. Because while looting itself is not a federal crime, rioting is via the Federal Anti-Riot Act.
Even if you think you can talk your way out of the situation, say calm and quiet. Police officers are trained to get people to incriminate themselves or to twist your words against you.
By hiring the best criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles, you stand a better chance of avoiding conviction or at least having your charge and sentence reduced.
Your Los Angeles Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
The best criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles knows how to examine your case to create a strong defense. Being aggressive is the best way to give your case a fighting chance. There are a number of potential defenses to looting charges.
Some of the most common are:
- No Intent: Just because you were identified at the scene of a business that had been looted or vandalized does not mean that you committed a crime.
- Mistaken Identity: It’s fairly easy for an officer to mistake the identity of a looter. This is especially true when law enforcement uses grainy, low quality, or too distant video footage.
- Good Faith: There are situations where “looting” can be done in good faith. If you took supplies from a pharmacy to treat significant wounds caused by the emergency situation or borrowed tools from a hardware store to free someone trapped in a burning car.
Find the Best Criminal Lawyer in Los Angeles
Your Los Angeles federal criminal defense attorney will know the best way to present your case. Don’t risk an outcome on your own and get help today.
Call Liberty Bell Law and obtain the best defense in the courtroom.