Petty Theft Attorney Los Angeles
If you or a loved one have been charged with petty theft, you should immediately contact a Petty Theft Attorney Los Angeles at The H Law Group. Our petty theft attorneys have years of experience and will do their best to achieve the best possible outcome for you. Hiring an attorney is of the utmost importance because petty theft and shoplifting charges in Los Angeles, California, are serious because they are a misdemeanor and not an infraction.
If convicted of petty theft, an individual faces a jail sentence of up to six (6) months and the payment of a fine of up to $1,000. Hiring an experienced petty theft attorney at The H Law Group may keep you out of jail, as our attorneys will negotiate with the prosecution to place you on probation instead of sending you to jail.
Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.
What is Petty Theft?
In California, petty theft is the stealing of another person’s property without the other person’s permission. Petty theft is prosecuted under California Penal Code (CPC) Section 484 and 488. Shopping outlets, such as Target, Bestbuy, and Walmart, are aware that many shoppers are stealing merchandise, causing them millions of dollars in lost money; as such, these retail giants have implemented a robust surveillance system to catch shoplifters. If the property that you stole has a value of less than $950, the prosecution will bring petty theft charges against you. However, if the value of the property exceeds $950, grand theft charges will be brought against you. The most commonly prosecuted thefts that our attorneys encounter involve individuals stealing from retailers, such as Macy’s and Nordstroms.
For example, if you go into Macy’s and you’re caught stealing a pair of pants that’s worth $125, the prosecution will charge you petty theft. However, if you go into Best Buy and decide to steal a Macbook with a price tag of $1200, you will be charged with grand theft. If you found yourself in the unfortunate situation of being charged with petty theft, contact an experienced Los Angeles Petty Theft Attorney at The H Law Group to defend you and keep you out of jail.
What is the Punishment for Petty Theft?
As mentioned previously, petty theft is a misdemeanor that carries a jail sentence of up to six months, a fine of up to $1,000, and probation of no less than three years. That said, if you’ve been convicted of petty theft in the past and this is your second petty theft, you will be charged with petty theft with a prior.
Petty theft with a prior is a wobbler, meaning that the prosecution can charge it as either a misdemeanor or as a felony.
When deciding whether to charge petty theft with a prior as either a misdemeanor or a felony, the prosecution looks at the individual criminal history and the value of the property stolen. Petty theft with a prior is charged under California Penal Code Section 666. Being convicted of petty theft with a prior increases the punishment to a maximum of one year in jail if charged with a misdemeanor. If the prosecution charges it as a felony, an individual faces a maximum of up to sixteen (16) months in California State Prison.
What Does the Prosecution Have to Show to Prove that you Committed Petty Theft?
To convict an individual of petty theft, the prosecution must prove the following elements:
- The defendant took the property of another,
- The defendant did so without the property owner’s consent,
- The defendant intended to permanently deprive the victim of his property, and
- The defendant moved the property from its location no matter how slight
Petty Theft Immigration Consequences
If you’re in the United States on a Visa or are applying for U.S Citizenship, you should be aware that being convicted of petty theft may have negative consequences on your visa or immigration because the immigration considers petty theft to be a crime of moral turpitude. Having a conviction could lead to you being deported or denied citizenship.
Affordable Petty Theft Attorney in Los Angeles
If you’re looking for an affordable petty theft attorney in Los Angeles, California, look no further than The H Law Group, your experienced petty theft attorneys charge affordable amounts to represent you and defend you in court. For those who do not have the money to pay upfront, we offer lenient payment plans that allow you to make periodic monthly or bi-monthly payments.
Our attorneys will fight for you regardless of whether you’re guilty. If you’ve never been convicted for petty theft, this will allow our attorneys to negotiate a favorable plea deal for you. If you’ve previously been convicted, our theft attorney will look for mitigating factors to negotiate a favorable plea deal for you.
Petty Theft vs Shoplifting
Petty theft under California Penal Code Section 484(a) is different from shoplifting under California Penal Code Section 459.5. Petty theft involves stealing the property of another person, whereas shoplifting involves entering a retail store, such as Target or Macys, and attempting to steal an item. In such a situation, the prosecution can either charge a person with petty theft or shoplifting. It cannot charge a person with both crimes because they do overlap. If the property stolen has a value that’s below $950, the prosecution can bring petty theft charges under CPC 484(a), if the value of the property exceeds $950, the prosecution can bring grand theft charges under CPC 487.
Defenses to Petty Theft
If you’ve been charged with petty theft in Los Angeles or Southern California, your theft attorney can use several defenses if they apply to your case.
For example, your attorney may be able to argue that you are innocent because you mistakenly took the property you’re being accused of stealing.
In some situations, your attorney may be able to argue that the property you took was yours and that you, therefore, did not intend to steal, but only intended to recover property that was yours.
Also, our theft lawyers will examine the events that lead to you being arrested; if our attorneys find that your constitutional rights were violated, they will use that to either have the charges against you dismissed or negotiate a favorable plea deal for you.
That said, your theft lawyer may also be able to argue that you did not commit theft and that you’re a victim of mistaken identity. There are more arguments that your attorney can make, to find all of the defenses that your attorney can make, you must first schedule a consultation with one of our experienced theft attorneys.
Petty Theft Lawyer Los Angeles
If you or a loved one has been charged with petty theft in Los Angeles or Southern California, you should promptly contact a petty theft attorney in Los Angeles at The H Law Group to represent you and defend you in court. The penalties for being convicted of petty theft are severe, and you should, therefore, hire the best petty theft attorney you can find to represent you in court. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.