Petty theft is defined in Section 484 of the California Penal Code. Any Orange County criminal defense lawyer will tell you that the most common form of petty theft is taking goods from a retail store. This form of petty theft is called shoplifting.
Punishment For Petty Theft
Theft of goods, or of services, valued at $950.00 or less is considered petty theft. Orange County criminal defense attorneys know this offense is punishable as a misdemeanor. Theft of an amount greater than $950.00 is called grand theft and is a “wobbler”. This means it is punishable as a misdemeanor or a felony with a maximum punishment of up to three years in the state prison. It is within the discretion of the Orange County District Attorney to decide whether to charge grand theft as a felony or as a misdemeanor. Petty theft is punishable by up to six months in the Orange County jail.
Petty Theft Is Moral Turpitude
Petty theft, like all theft crimes, is considered a crime of “moral turpitude”, meaning it involves dishonesty or immorality. Therefore, a conviction for a theft crime can be an impediment when seeking a job or any kind of license. Petty theft can prevent a person from obtaining a real estate license, law license, contractor’s license, and many more. Therefore, it is always best for your Irvine criminal defense attorney to explore every option to keep the charge from appearing on your record.
Keeping Petty Theft Off Your Record
A favorite method of Huntington Beach criminal defense attorneys is to negotiate a “deferred entry of judgment” deal or “DEJ”. Under DEJ, the defendant agrees to make restitution to the victim, complete a class on personal responsibility, and provide a DNA sample to compare against DNA collected at unsolved crime scenes. Under the terms of a DEJ agreement, if the defendant completes these requirements and remains free from further arrest for 90 days, the charge will be dismissed. Of course, Westminster criminal defense lawyers aren’t always able to convince the DA to offer the DEJ program. It will depend on many factors, including whether you have prior criminal convictions, your age, and the circumstances of the crime.
Free Telephonic Consultation With An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
For more information about petty theft, or other theft crimes like burglary, larceny, fraud, robbery or auto theft, call The Law Offices of EJ Stopyro at (949) 559-5500. We offer a free and confidential telephonic consultation with an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer. We have meeting offices throughout Orange County. Our main offices is at 32072 Camino Capistrano, 2nd floor, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675.