Shoplifting is not a crime in California, but a name for a certain kind of theft. Because most people who commit shoplifting steal items worth less than $400, it is usually charged as petty theft and is most likely to be a misdemeanor. In fact, for theft of items worth less than $50, prosecutors may also choose to charge it as an infraction, a category of crime below a misdemeanor. But if you’re charged with a repeat shoplifting offense or you’re charged with stealing goods worth $400 or more, you will likely be charged with felony shoplifting (grand theft or felony petty theft).
Shoplifting is one of the most common theft crimes in California. Teenagers testing their boundaries and older folks who simply forget to pay are two groups commonly charged with shoplifting. Other commonly charged groups are people who steal for psychological (rather than financial) reasons and people who have substance abuse problems. Severe criminal charges and jail time may not be appropriate for these offenders. Our experienced California shoplifting defense attorneys can make a substantial difference, especially if they can step in during the early phases of a case.
Fortunately, Wallin & Klarich has several options for defending a shoplifting charge or reducing its penalties. In cases involving very minor theft or absentmindedness, we can often negotiate directly with the store to return the items or pay restitution, keeping the matter out of the criminal justice system altogether or allowing us to ask for dropped charges. There are several alternative sentencing options available, including community service, counseling, drug court or work-release. We can also negotiate lowered charges in many cases, reducing felony petty theft to a misdemeanor or allowing people charged with misdemeanor petty theft to avoid jail by pleading to trespassing instead.
Call the Shoplifting Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich
Wallin & Klarich has more than 30 years of experience in California criminal law. We are proud to say that during that time, we have successfully defended thousands of clients accused of theft and other crimes, winning them acquittals and dropped or reduced charges. Because we’ve worked with criminal defendants for so long, we understand that our clients come to us at a stressful time in their lives. That’s why we’re committed to always being available when you call — 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. And because we have more than 20 offices from San Diego to Ventura to the Inland Empire, we can be wherever you need us most.
With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney near you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.