San Marcos, CA asked in Criminal Law for California

Q: If you go to steal something but in the middle of the act you change your mind and dont steal can u get in trouble

But as your leaving the seen someone follows you

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2 Lawyer Answers
Wais Azami
Wais Azami
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Garden Grove, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Yes, potentially! If you think about doing something and don't do it, then no. If you go to the store, pick up something from the isle but change your mind and place it back on the shelf before leaving the store, technically you have stolen the item. That's because you have completed the act of moving an item (asportation) for even a slight bit while having the mental intent of permanently depriving the owner of their property. The fact that you stopped and changed your mind doesn't matter because you have completed all of the elements necessary to commit the crime of larceny. If you formed the intent before entering the store, you could have different and additional charges of commercial burglary.

Wais Azami
Wais Azami
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Garden Grove, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: See the prior answer on this matter.

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