Petty Theft and Shoplifting
In California, shoplifting and petty theft refers to intentionally taking something that does not belong to you from a store without paying. It also may include switching price tags on goods in order to obtain a more favorable price. No matter what, shoplifting is never worth it. Despite being considered a “petty theft” and generally prosecuted as a misdemeanor, it comes with serious consequences such as jail time, monetary fines, a permanent criminal record, and damage to your personal and professional reputations. Whether you were falsely accused of shoplifting, or made a mistake and committed the offense, it is crucial to contact a qualified criminal defense lawyer to defend you. Defenses may be available, and as such, the time to act is now to ensure that your constitutional rights and legal interests are protected.
In the event that you are facing petty theft and shoplifting charges, or you were arrested or are under investigation for this offense, do not discuss your case with anyone or allow yourself to be forced into pleading guilty. Keep in mind that anything you say and do can be used against you in a court of law, so assert your right to remain silent and to have a lawyer present before any questioning can resume. Also consult with a San Diego petty theft defense lawyer as soon as possible, as it may make the difference between jail time and your freedom. The sooner you call an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the better your chances are to receive a favorable outcome in your case.
At The Law Offices of David M. Boertje, our seasoned criminal defense attorneys will take all measures necessary to fight for your legal rights and win. This involves conducting a thorough background of the evidence in your case, meeting you in jail if you were arrested, securing credible witnesses, and aggressively representing you in court. Our legal professionals do anything and everything to win your case, and ensure that your constitutional rights are protected from day one. To schedule your free and completely confidential initial consultation, you can call our downtown San Diego office at (619) 229 1870, or reach us at our North County location in Carlsbad at (760) 476 0901.California Shoplifting Law
Shoplifting, or petty theft, is defined under California Penal Code § 484 as the unlawful taking of another’s property with the intention of permanently depriving its owner thereof. A person can also face charges of shoplifting or petty theft should they temporarily deprive an owner of a major portion of the item’s value and/or enjoyment. In California, shoplifting and petty theft is often charged as a misdemeanor should the value of the property taken be valued less than $950. In the event that the property is valued at $950 or above, the charges may be elevated to “grand theft” under California Penal Code § 487. A conviction for grand theft may result in a year or less in county jail or, depending upon the nature of the crime, between 16 months to three years in a California State penitentiary.
Generally, petty theft is punishable by a monetary fine of up to $1,000, 6 months or less in a county jail, and three years of informal probation. However, through aggressive negotiations by an experienced and knowledgeable criminal lawyer, many times a first time misdemeanor petty theft case can be resolved with a resolution resulting in the case being completely dismissed or reduced to an infraction. The Law Offices of David M. Boertje has successfully negotiated numerous shoplifting cases in San Diego County that have resulted in compete dismissals of the charges, as well as numerous cases where the misdemeanor petty theft charges were reduced to infractions (similar to a traffic ticket where only a small monetary fine is paid). Felony charges may be imposed should a person have three or more prior shoplifting convictions under California Penal Code § 666.There are Shoplifting Defenses Available
As noted above, shoplifting charges are serious. However, there may be several defenses that apply in your case. The most common defenses to shoplifting charges in California are as follows:
- Insufficient evidence;
- Belief that the property taken was yours;
- Owner consent;
- Lack of intent to shoplift; and
- False accusation.
The Law Offices of David M. Boertje has successfully represented numerous clients who have been charged with petty theft throughout all courts in San Diego County. Mr. Boertje has resolved numerous shoplifting cases in San Diego courts that have resulted in complete dismissals of the charges as well as reductions to infractions. Often times, plea agreements have been structured on first time petty theft cases where a client can earn a dismissal or a reduction of the charges to an infraction by agreeing to do certain terms, such as volunteer work and an online theft class.Contact the Law Offices of David M. Boertje Today for Unparalleled Legal Representation
If you or someone you know is facing shoplifting charges in San Diego or the North County area, it is crucial to hire a seasoned shoplifting and petty theft defense lawyer to help you. Contact the Law Offices of David M. Boertje today to learn more about how we will fight for your rights and protect your legal interests. Through our efforts, our team of legal professionals will provide you with the best chance to either have your charges reduced or dropped completely. To schedule your free and completely confidential initial consultation with one of our seasoned shoplifting criminal defense lawyers, feel free to call our downtown San Diego office at (619) 229 1870. You can also reach us at our North County location in Carlsbad at (760) 476 0901, or online. We look forward to providing you with superior criminal defense representation.