Los Angeles Shoplifting Attorney
If you or a loved one has been arrested for shoplifting in Los Angeles, CA, you should immediately contact a Los Angeles Shoplifting Attorney at The H Law Group. Our shoplifting lawyers have represented countless individuals accused of shoplifting, so they have the knowledge and experience necessary to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
You should not take shoplifting charges lightly as a conviction for one carries a maximum jail sentence of six (6) months for a first-time offender. That said, repeat offenders can be sentenced to a maximum of three years in jail. So, if you’ve been charged with shoplifting in Los Angeles, CA, or elsewhere in the State of California, please contact a Los Angeles shoplifting attorney at The H Law Group to represent you and keep you out of jail.
What is Shoplifting in Los Angeles, CA?
In Los Angeles, the crime of shoplifting is defined as entering into a shopping store or retailer with the intent to commit theft within the shopping center. Said differently, if you go into a shopping store, such as Target or Macys, intending to steal something with a value of $950 or less, the prosecution can charge and convict you of shoplifting.
You do not have to actually get away with stealing something for the prosecution to convict you of shoplifting, merely walking in with the intent to steal is sufficient. For example, if you go into Macy’s and you place a pair of glasses into your bag, you don’t have to walk out of the store to be convicted of shoplifting in Los Angeles, CA.
Retailers and shopping outlets know that they’re losing a lot of money due to shoplifting, so they’ve increased surveillance of their stores and aggressively go after those who steal from them. If you’re caught shoplifting, the store security calls the police officers to arrest you and charge you for shoplifting under California Penal Code (CPC) 459.5 PC.
Shoplifting is one of the most commonly prosecuted crimes in LA and the State of California. If you’re convicted of shoplifting, you could lose your job or be denied admission to college. So, if you’ve been charged with shoplifting, you should contact a Los Angeles Shoplifting Attorney to represent you and keep you from going to jail. Our shoplifting lawyers will do their best to have the charges against you dismissed, if we are not able to get them dismissed, we will negotiate the best possible plea deal for you.
That said, if you enter into a store to steal something that has a value over $950, the prosecution might charge you with grand theft instead of shoplifting because grand theft is a more serious crime than shoplifting.
To summarize, for the prosecution to convict an individual of shoplifting, it must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
· The defendant entered into a commercial establishment
· The defendant’s entry was within regular business hours, and
· The defendant entered the business establishment with the intent to steal property
· The property must have a value of less than $950
Example of Shoplifting
For example, if you’re at the mall and a new mascara on display catches your attention. If you enter into the beauty shop, take mascara that’s worth $150, place it in your purse, and then the store owner stops you and calls the police. The prosecution can convict you of shoplifting even though you weren’t successful in stealing the mascara because you entered the store intending to commit larceny (steal the mascara without paying and without the store owner’s consent).
Penalties for a Shoplifting Conviction
If an individual is convicted of shoplifting, he or she faces a maximum of six (6) months in county jail, as well as being ordered to pay a fine of up to $1,000. So, if you’ve been charged with or arrested for the crime of shoplifting, you should immediately contact a Los Angeles Shoplifting Attorney to defend you and ensure that you do not go to jail. Shoplifting is a serious crime, and you need an attorney to defend you and protect your rights.
Shoplifting vs Petty Theft
Shoplifting and petty theft in that they both involve stealing the property of another person. However, the crime of shoplifting focuses on theft or an attempted theft that occurs in places where people shop. Petty theft focuses more on the taking the property of another at any place at any time.
Petty theft charges are brought under California Penal Code Section 484(a) and also involve stealing property that is valued at $950 or less. If an individual steals property that is worth more than $950, the prosecution typically brings grand theft charges, which are more serious than shoplifting and petty theft charges.
Like shoplifting, a first-time petty theft offense is filed as a misdemeanor and, if convicted, an individual faces a maximum jail sentence of up to six months, as well as potentially paying a fine of up to $1,000. As such, if you’ve been charged with petty theft or shoplifting, you should contact an experienced Los Angeles Shoplifting Attorney to represent you and keep you out of jail.
The attorneys of The H Law Group will try to have the charges against you dismissed, however, if they’re unsuccessful in doing so, they will negotiate the best plea deal possible for you. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below.
Defenses for Shoplifting
There are a variety of defenses that your attorney can be used; while these are some of the defenses our shoplifting lawyers can use to defend you, the list is not exhaustive. Here are the defenses we can use:
- No Specific Intent – Your attorney may be able to argue that you did not have the intent to steal the item you’re accused of stealing. For example, if you placed a stapler in your bag, intending to pay for it before you leave, you cannot be convicted of shoplifting because you did not have the intent to steal
- Innocent – Your attorney may argue, based on the facts of your case, that you’re innocent, and you did not commit shoplifting
- Consent – Your attorney may argue that you had the shop owner’s consent to take the property. For example, if you work at a shop and you took an item from the shop, your attorney may argue that you had the shop owner’s consent to take the property you’re accused of taking
- False Accusation – Your attorney may argue that you’re falsely being accused of stealing property. Maybe you have beef with the shop owner, or he has some prejudice against you and is, therefore, accusing you of shoplifting
Los Angeles Shoplifting Lawyer
If you’ve been charged with shoplifting in Los Angeles, CA, you should immediately contact an experienced Los Angeles shoplifting attorney to represent you. The criminal defense lawyers at The H Law Group have the experience and knowledge to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Having a shoplifting conviction, your record will make it more difficult for you to obtain a job, find housing, and get into college, so if you’ve been charged with it, please contact an experienced Los Angeles shoplifting attorney to defend you and keep you out of jail. So, if you have been charged with shoplifting and need an experienced shoplifting defense attorney, schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.