Shoplifting and petty theft are typically both misdemeanor crimes. However, there are occasions when either of these may fall under felony charges. Knowing more about shoplifting and petty theft can help you to understand how important an experienced theft crimes defense attorney in your corner is.
Does the Dollar Value of the Property Really Matter?
Yes, the worth of the property in the shoplifting or petty crime case does make a major difference. When the value exceeds $950, the charge becomes grand theft. This crime may come with misdemeanor or felony charges and carries a heavier penalty of one year for a misdemeanor and up to three years for a felony conviction.
Prior Convictions for Shoplifting and Petty Theft Can Impact the Future
Prior convictions and jail time do make a difference if you have a future charge of shoplifting or petty theft. For instance, under Penal Code 666, a petty theft charge with prior conviction could become a misdemeanor or a felony. If charged as a felony, you could face up to three years in state prison. A subsequent misdemeanor charge can lead to up to one year in county jail.
Shoplifting or Burglary?
Shoplifting now is a separate charge from burglary. However, the type of property and how it was entered could make a charge a burglary instead of shoplifting. Penal Code 459.5 covering shoplifting indicates that for the charge to be shoplifting, the person must enter a business during hours of operation and steal or intend to take less than $950 of goods. Any other reasons for entering a business and intending to steal fall under burglary. Therefore, a charge of burglary could befall if the value is greater than $950 or the person enters the business outside of operating hours.
You Need an Orange County Theft Crimes Defense Lawyer to Support You Through the Legal System for Shoplifting and Petty Theft Charges
If you have a charge in Orange County of shoplifting or petty theft, contact the Law Office of Steven K. Bloom for help. He has defended theft crimes in Orange County for decades and knows those who work within the legal system. All legal cases are different, and no lawyer can promise any outcome. However, Steven K. Bloom can say that he will work hard on your case to do what he can do properly defend you. You deserve to have someone to back you up when you have theft charges, such as shoplifting and petty theft.