June 17, 2007 By Wallin & Klarich

Have you ever been at the mall in the department store and saw a pair of sunglasses that you really wanted but you didn’t have the money to purchase them? So you put them into your shopping bag and walked out of the store. However, as you were approaching your car, a loss prevention officer stops you, the police are called, and you are arrested on suspicion of petty theft (484 PC). You think to yourself, I am not a criminal. I have no criminal record and I just acted on impulse. I did not go into the store contemplating stealing. I cannot afford to have a misdemeanor (or felony) conviction on my record.

If you have a story similar to this, believe it or not, you are not alone. Thousands of people in California are picked up on suspicion of shoplifting each year.

So you say to yourself, “what options do I have?” I am caught on camera stealing and they found the merchandise right in my bag. Well, at Wallin & Klarich, our California criminal defense attorneys are very familiar with these types of stories and have handled numerous of these types of cases. Our attorneys have helped clients avoid felony and misdemeanor theft convictions, even when clients have been caught “red-handed.”

This is because there are alternatives! First, there is a possibility that the offense can be reduced down to an infraction, where only a fine is required. There is also a possibility of getting a Civil Compromise. Under this scenario, the criminal case against you is considered “Civilly compromised” pursuant to PC 1377-1378 and you will end up with zero conviction on your record. Lastly, there is also a possibility that you may be able to take a “shoplifting class” and upon proof of completion of the class, have your case dismissed without a conviction!

It varies from court to court as to how your shoplifting case might end up. However, a lot of it has to do with how well versed and creative your attorney is in sentencing alternatives and how well he knows the particular court, the Judges, the District Attorneys, and/or the City Attorneys. At Wallin & Klarich you can be confident that you will get the best possible representation and receive the best possible outcome to your shoplifting case or any other possible criminal case that you might have pending.

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