Quick Answer: Should I Get A Lawyer For Petty Theft?

Is petty theft serious?

Petty theft is charged as a misdemeanor in California (as opposed to a felony or an infraction).

The crime is punishable by: imprisonment in county jail for up to six months, and/or.

a maximum fine of $1,000..

How do you prove petty theft?

California Petty Theft AttorneyBurden of Proof. In order to obtain a conviction for petty theft, the prosecutor must prove two elements or facts: (1) That you committed the crime of theft and (2) The property was valued at $950 or less. … Serious Consequences. … Contacting a Knowledgeable Attorney. … Additional Information.

Is petty theft a misdemeanor or felony?

Is Theft Classified as a Felony? In most states, grand theft is classified as a felony, even for a first-time offender. However, petty theft is typically classified as a misdemeanor for first-time offenders in most states.

How long do you go to jail if you steal something?

For first-time offenders who are convicted of the lowest severity level of felony theft, the potential prison sentence can be anywhere from several months to two or three years, though a court may also choose not to impose any jail time.

Can you go to jail for stealing candy?

A first offense is a summary offense, as long as the value of the merchandise is less than $150. … Thus, a person with two prior convictions who is charged with stealing a candy bar will be charged with a felony of the third degree, an offense that carries a statutory maximum penalty of seven-years imprisonment.

How bad is a petty theft misdemeanor?

California law defines petty theft as the theft of any property with a value of $950 or less. Most petty thefts are charged as misdemeanors, which carry a sentence of up to six months in county jail, a fine of no more than $1,000, or both.

What is the difference between theft and petty theft?

Petty theft is the theft of any property with a value of less than four hundred dollars. Grand theft is the crime of theft of over $400 of property. The Penal Code sections are 484 and 487 respectively. Petty theft is a misdemeanor, grand theft is a felony which carries aterm of state prison.

Does petty larceny go on your record?

When you’re arrested and charged with theft, this information will appear on any background checks. You’ll also face court time, and if the conviction is successful, you’ll receive an entry on your criminal record. … This would only occur if the theft involved serious circumstances, such as a break-in or home invasion.

Do you need a lawyer for a misdemeanor theft?

If you’re accused of misdemeanor, it’s always best to have an attorney represent you. … Even if the DA can prove that you’re guilty of the crime alleged, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help minimize the punishment and may be able to help negotiate a reduced or dismissed charge.

Should I get a public defender for petty theft?

Hopefully you didn’t sign a confession. You can ask the Judge for a Public Defender on your court date. You will definitely want to fight this, because petty theft is a crime of moral turpitude and if you have it you can say goodbye to any meaningful employment for the next decade of your life.

What happens if I plead guilty to shoplifting?

You can plead either guilty, not guilty or no contest. If you plead guilty or no contest, you will pay a fine, may be given community service and may do jail time. You will also have a criminal conviction on your record. … If you plead not guilty, the court will set up a pretrial court date.

Can you go to jail for a misdemeanor theft?

A theft charge can result in a misdemeanor or felony offense, and the severity level of the offense largely determines whether fines or jail time will result. For a misdemeanor, the worst outcome possible could be up to one year in jail. However, for a misdemeanor offense, that is pretty uncommon.