You do not have to be Rob Kardashian going toe to toe with the paparazzi to get charged with petty theft. Any time that you stand accused of stealing money or goods valued at less than $950, there is a good chance that you find yourself facing this misdemeanor charge. Hiring a defense lawyer immediately now becomes a priority.
- Shoplifting is a common petty theft charge. Teenagers, young adults and even senior citizens may face charges of petty theft when they are alleged to have engaged in shoplifting. In fact, this type of charge is so widespread that it is probably the most common offense in California.
- What happens if you are charged with shoplifting? In Riverside County, you might be eligible for Deferred Entry of Judgment (DEJ). Depending on the value of the property taken, the judge will postpone your sentencing for a period of time and order you to complete a class and pay a fine. If you successfully complete the class, your case will be dismissed. On the other hand, the judge can sentence you to probation and community service. If that's the case, you will have a criminal record along with all the disadvantages that go with it.
- Are you ready to fight the charges? If you think that it might just be cheaper and easier to go to court and plead guilty or no contest to a charge of petty theft, think again. You not only have to pay money that you may not necessarily owe, but you also have to give up valuable time for community service. In addition, you might end-up with a misdemeanor crime on your record.
There are plenty of times when someone accused of petty theft is actually innocent. A security guard may have seen you put a purse into your backpack, but the purse might actually be yours that you routinely keep there. Not knowing the intricacies of the case, the police are called and you stand accused of stealing something that already belongs to you. Similarly, you might have made an honest mistake. You fully intended to pay for something you placed in your shopping cart but you just forgot about it at the checkout counter.
The Law Office of Nicolai Cocis is here to help you. Our office is located near the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, California. We represent individuals charged with criminal offenses, DUI and juvenile matters in the Temecula, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Hemet, Corona and Riverside areas. Contact us today to discuss your case.