In California, under Penal Code §484(a) & §488 PC, petty theft is the unlawful taking of property valued at $950 or less, with the intent not to return it.
Petty Theft can be as simple as shoplifting a few items from a convenience store to walking away with bigger items from a department store. If the items taken are valued at $950 or less, it’s a Petty Theft.
A petty theft conviction can result in up to 6 months in the County Jail and/or up to $1,000.00 in fines plus probation and other assorted financial penalties and assessments.
Long Term Consequences
While it may seem minor, a Petty Theft conviction can have drastic and long-lasting effects on one’s life, such as employment & licensure consequences.
Most employers these days run background checks on new hire employees. A Petty Theft conviction on your record may tend to show the new employer that you are not worthy of trust. The same may be true for promotions at your current job.
In California, most licensing and certification agencies ask about convictions on their applications. A Theft conviction can, in many instances, be grounds for denying, suspending, or even revoking a professional license. Even convictions that have been “expunged” will still show for professional licensing purposes.
Colleges and Universities may also check conviction records before granting admission.
That is why it is always worth fighting!
Your Attorney must understand even the tiniest facts of your case and the slightest nuances of the law in order to employ every possible defense to your advantage.
The list of potential defenses is long, however some of the simplest defenses include:
- The fact that you never intended to steal the property, or
- The property actually already belonged to you at the time you were accused, or
- You had permission to take the property, and/or
- The accusations are altogether false.
We Go to Court, So You Don’t Have to
California law allows attorneys to appear on behalf of their clients in most Petty Theft cases. No need to return to the Coachella Valley for court. You can go on with your life while your attorney fights for you.
When you are someone you care about in Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, La Quinta, Palm Desert, Indio, or anywhere else in the Coachella Valley, has been accused, arrested, or charged with Petty Theft, or any Theft offense, call us right away at 760-610-6109 for a free consultation.