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Crime in California is still a hot topic among authorities and legislators. Often one of the first states to set the tone for the rest of the country, California finds itself in the midst of news stories often when it comes to issues like prison reform and what legislative changes could have an impact of criminal charges throughout the state.

If you have already been accused of a crime in Riverside or elsewhere in California, you must have your case evaluated as soon as possible by a lawyer.

A new study has identified that thefts have risen in California after the state reduced criminal penalties. Being accused of a crime should prompt the person involved to schedule a consultation with a Riverside criminal defense attorney, whether this is theft charge or something more serious. California voters recently made a decision to reduce penalties for property and drug crimes in 2014 but a study identified that this lead to an increase in shoplifting, car burglaries and other theft.

By 2016, larcenies increased by approximately 9%, according to that study. Thefts from motor vehicles accounted for approximately three quarters of the increase tracked in the study. San Francisco was home to more than 30,000 auto thefts in the previous year alone. Researchers found that while shoplifting may be leveling off, there is no sign of a dramatic decrease involving thefts from vehicles. Proposition 47 lowered criminal sentences for identity theft, drug possession, shoplifting, receiving stolen property, theft, writing bad checks and check forgery, down to misdemeanors that often come with minimal jail sentences. Although researchers link the measure to more theft, they also found that it did not lead to an according increase in the state’s violent crime rates. If you have already been accused of a crime, you need the support and representation offered by an experienced Riverside criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.