January 3, 2013 By Wallin & Klarich

Ventura County does not follow the policy of other California courts when it comes to petty theft charges. In some California courts, the prosecutor and the court employ a policy that allows a person who is charged with a first-time misdemeanor petty theft offense to enroll in a theft class. If that class is successfully completed, the person will have the misdemeanor charge dismissed. However Ventura County has no such program in place.

Generally referred to as shoplifting, petty theft is the unlawful taking of someone else’s property with the intent to deprive the owner of the property permanently. Petty theft is usually charged as a misdemeanor on the first offense, and the value of the property stolen is valued between $50 and $950.

A petty theft misdemeanor conviction carries up to six months in county jail, a fine, and up to three years on probation. In some cases, an experienced criminal defense attorney in Ventura County may successfully be able to reduce the misdemeanor to an infraction, thus eliminating a criminal conviction for a misdemeanor.

A misdemeanor theft conviction can carry serious collateral consequences as well. A petty theft conviction will show up on an employment background check, and can often dissuade a potential employer from hiring an otherwise qualified and desirable applicant.

The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been defending people on theft charges for over thirty years. Wallin & Klarich will review all the evidence in your case, and fight to have the charges dismissed, or reduced to a lesser charge. The fact that a criminal conviction stays on your record forever, highlights the importance of hiring an experienced, aggressive defense firm in Ventura County .

If you or a loved one has been arrested fortheft in Ventura, it is imperative you contact our firm. Hiring an experienced criminal defense law firm is the best way to ensure you keep your freedom. You can reach us at 888-280-6839 to discuss your case or go to our website at www.wklaw.com for more information. Call us today, we will get through this together.

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