When it comes to shoplifting in California, many people are caught on the wrong side of the law. As a matter of fact, shoplifting and other theft offenses are the most commonly seen property crimes in California courtrooms. But there’s little comfort in this when you are the one facing charges.

Charged with Shoplifting? Please call (800) 763-4065.

A criminal defense attorney can help you fight the California shoplifting charges against you. When it feels like no one in the system is on your side, your lawyer can be your advocate, tirelessly working on your behalf for the best results possible on your case.

Anyone can make a stupid mistake. You shouldn’t be punished harshly for a mistake, or a moment of desperation.

With most California shoplifting cases, you were likely arrested at the scene of the alleged crime. You may have been stopped by store security and detained until the police arrived. Even when you are in the “custody” of security guards, you have rights. And those rights are certainly extended when you are arrested by the police. Some shoplifting cases have been ultimately thrown out of court because the defendant’s rights were violated during the arrest process.

California Shoplifting Laws

In California, shoplifting is classified as a general theft offense. And general theft offenses are classified according to the value of the goods or services taken.

Petty Theft Laws & Penalties

If you shoplifted goods valued at less than $400, you could be charged with petty theft. If they are valued at less than $50, the charge is considered a simple infraction and carries only fines. However, if it is more than $50 and less than $400, you will face misdemeanor charges.

Misdemeanor petty theft carries a potential penalty of 6 months in jail and fines ranging from $50 to $1,000.

California Penal Code Section 490

California Grand Theft Laws

When the shoplifting offense includes items valued at more than $400, you face grand theft charges. This offense can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. That determination is made by the prosecutor and is largely dependent on your criminal history.

Grand theft carries a potential sentence of up to one year in jail or prison and fines.

California Penal Code Section 487

Felony Petty Theft

Though it seems like a typo, felony petty theft is a serious criminal charge. Even if the items you shoplift amount to less than $400, you can be charged with a felony in cases where you have three or more theft offenses on your record. This offense carries up to one year in prison and fines.

California Penal Code Section 666

You are feeling a lot of stress and maybe a little bit ashamed after a shoplifting arrest.

Being charged with shoplifting is not the end of the world, and it’s merely the beginning of your journey through the courts. A California shoplifting attorney can assist you in determining the best course of action for your particular case. From negotiating with the prosecutor to defending your good name in court, a criminal defense attorney is the type of advocate you need on your side.

If you are charged with California shoplifting and in need of a local criminal defense attorney, contact us for a legal consultation.