Fight Your Petty​Pen. Code, § 484  Theft and Shoplifting Charge

Even if you were caught red handed, your case can still be dismissed and your criminal record can still be clean. 


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Recent Case Results -  Petty Theft and Shoplifting

Kohls - Santa Margarita

  • Nurse Shoplifted
  • Dissmissed without DEJ
Petty Theft and Shoplifting Attorney

Sephora South Coast Plaza

  • School Teacher Caught Shoplifting at Sephora South Coast
  • Case Dismissed without Diversion
Sephora South Coast Shoplifting and Petty Theft

Costco - Fullerton

  • Engineer caught stealing printer cartridges
  • Dismissed
Costco Fullerton  Shoplifting

Macy's South Coast Plaza

  • Stay at Home Mom caught stealing clothes
  • Dimissed
Shoplifting at Macy's South Coast Plaza

Sephora - South Coast Plaza

  • International Student caught stealing makeup
  • Case Dismissed
Sephora South Coast Shoplifting and Petty Theft

Macy's - South Coast Plaza

  • Student caught stealing hundreds worth of clothes and had tools
  • Case Dismissed
Shoplifting at Macy's South Coast Plaza

Saks Fifth - Orange Outlets

  • Accountant caught stealing 
  • Dismissed
Shoplifting at Saks Fifth The outlets at Orange

Fry's Electronic - Fountain Valley

  • Client caught stealing camera equipment and memory cards. 
  • Dimissed
Shoplifting at Fry's Electronics

Nordstrom - South Coast Plaza

  • Mom caught stealing
  • Dismissed
Shoplifting at Nordstrom South Plaza

Sears - South Coast Plaza

  • Dad stole clothes
  • Case dissmissed
Shoplifting at Sears South Coast Plaza

Talk with an attorney who has a proven track record.

There are many things that can still be done when you are caught shoplifting. This is despite camera evidence. Having a skilled attorney in this process can mean the difference between a conviction and a clean record. 

Punishments

The punishment for Petty Theft and Shoplifting differ in California. There are many courts out there with different guidelines and whether or not a court will hand out jail time is up to the court. Petty Theft and Shoplifting are two very serious crimes. Oftentimes these are done by people who make a quick decision. The long term effects are not considered when the act is made. A typical case starts at the mall. Store security or loss prevention patrols the stores. They either patrol them as undercover shoppers. Other times they patrol the stores via closed circuit cameras. Once a person is spotted taking stuff, lost prevention will head them off at the exit and stop them. This is where the case starts. The police will be called in and a report will be taken. The police officer will assign you to a courthouse with a citation to appear. You will sign this promise to appear.

To prove that you are  guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:

1) You took possession of property owned by someoneelse

2) You took the property without the owner’s  consent​

3)When the you  took the property you  intended to deprive the owner of it permanently/ [or] to remove it from the owner’s [or owner’s agent’s] possession for so extended a period of time that the owner would be deprived of a major portion of the value or enjoyment of the property);​ and 

4) You  moved the property, even a small distance, and kept it for any period of time, however brief.​

Long Term Consequences of Petty Theft and Shoplifting


The long term consequences of Petty Theft and Shoplifting are very damning. These are serious charges of moral turpitude and that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty or good morals. Employers frown strongly on this. It is very difficult to find a job with a moral turpitude conviction on your record. Moral turpitude convictions outweigh other crimes when it comes to employment. For example, many employees will pick a person who has a DUI or assault with a deadly weapon over and even domestic violence over one with a petty theft charge.

Keep your Record Clean. 

Stop a Petty Theft and Shoplifting Conviction from hitting your record. 

Defenses to Shoplifting and Petty Theft

There are many ways defenses to Petty Theft and Shoplifting. One of the main ones is that you did not intend to steal the item. This defense comes into play when you have not left the building. For example, a person may choose to hold on to an item and walk to the exit. They will not make it to the exit however, they will get stopped. These are just one of the many defenses.

Orange County Shoplifting Attorney Report

California Petty Theft and Shoplifting Laws (Penal Code 484 & 459.5 PC)

Petty Theft and Shoplifting is a fascinating area and even with cameras not everything will make it into court. The laws of evidence will keep things out and may help you. The concept of beyond a reasonable doubt will also be in your favor. What actually happened and what could be proved in court are two different things. It’s worth it to consider attacking the case head on especially in light of the penalties.

Mental State


The state must show all the elements of a crime for the purpose of a Petty Theft and Shoplifting. Would you rather agree that in some instances, you lose your focus and awareness of your surroundings rather than go to jail for shoplifting? If it happens sometimes that you walk towards your fridge intending to get something from it then you totally went clueless what you were doing near the fridge, will it not be possible that same scenario will happen while shopping so you forgot to pay for your goods? This line of shoplifter defense is a bit difficult to prove. It requires an expert witness to collaborate the basis of the defense. In addition to this, there is also the addiction approach. If the right people come on board such as counselors there is room to move for the purpose of getting your charge dismissed. The rationale here is that the community will benefit more from you getting treatment then letting you go back to commit more offenses. It’s important to let your lawyer know this the first time you meet him or her and to mention on the questionnaire.

Can't Steal What You Own


When you can prove that the item actually belongs to you, this is a strong defense against Petty Theft and Shoplifting. This is among the instances when keeping receipts, even for a cheap toy you bought to keep your toddler mum while you shop around.A mother and her two years old girl were stopped at the store exit. They were speculated for taking a new Barbie doll from the store’s shelf. Thanks God, the petit Barbie doll she (the two year old) was cuddling had visible scratches on the face and had a trace of strawberry ice cream in its clothes. Both of these collaborated that the doll was not taken off the display stand and was in fact the little girl’s doll.

Someone Else's Fault


The cashier forgot to punch it. While you were at the cashier’s booth, an item was not successfully scanned so it remained unpaid. Absolutely, there is no criminal intent in this case. In fact, you are going to trial for something you may not have even imagined to commit.There are other lines of shoplifter defense to convince the jury that you are not guilty beyond reasonable doubt. But, it all depends on the virtuosity of your lawyer if he could prove your defense.

Damage Control


There are times when there is not much that can be done and all you can do is be in damage control. Let’s say for instance you were part of a ring of shoplifters and you guys were caught on camera with complete video evidence repeatedly shoplifting at Sephora in South Coast Plaza and the Loss Prevention knew all your techniques and knew the amount you always stole was under 200 and that you always had people come in afterwards with receipts to cash in the goods. You can be facing bigger charges however for one reason or another prosecuting agency missed the fact that you were on probation and gave you a good sentence. This may the time to wrap it up and go home. Every case is different. It’s better to know that there were many times you did do the shoplifting without getting caught and the prosecuting agency only knows about this time only.

There are Burdens of Proof the State must Show

Shoplifting Defense

The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the facts of your case. The beyond a reasonable doubt standard is the highest one standard.

Not all shoplifting incidents result in a conviction

Shoplifting Consequences in California

It's important to handle your shoplifting charge appropriately. Handling it the wrong way can result in a criminal record.

Petty Theft and Shoplifting May Evolve into Other Crimes


Things may get trickier if the person shoplifting was caught with tools and the facts show that person had a sophisticated setup to come in and steal for the purpose Petty Theft and Shoplifting. If this was the case then you may be charged with burglary. Finally, if you were stopped by the Loss Prevention and you used force to resist and that force you used effectuated the escape which caused you to get caught then you are looking at a charge of robbery. You will be looking at more than a shoplifting citation and will probably need a bail bonds man for your numerous court cases. However, for most people that is not the case. The other charge that is often associated with Petty Theft & Shoplifting is the charge of grand theft. Grand theft is reserved for crimes where the amount stolen is a substantial amount. In addition, some grand thefts are felonies and involve jail time.

Stop additional chages

You may be at risk for 2nd degree burglary and grand theft. 


Other Collateral Consequences to Consider When dealing with Petty Theft and Shoplifting

1

Civil Problems from the Department Store 

You will most likely get a civil demand later from the department store citing a civil code which entitles them to money. This is called restitution. They are legally entitled to it; however it is important that you consult your lawyer on how to handle these letters.

Shoplifting Consequences

Sholifting carries with it a consequence of being Civilly Liable

Petty Theft and Shoplifting Laws may differ from state to state. I get clients who are accused for Costa Mesa Shoplifting. For one reason or another, clients love to shoplift at department stores. Clients will questions about things outside the criminal justice system once they are caught. One of these questions is whether they should pay the demand letter which is sent to them as a result of their Shoplifting case. The consensus in the criminal defense community is to not pay them. These are letters are generated in bulk to take advantage of the Shoplifting Laws. In addition to this, they may follow up with their threat, but they will be unable to make a profit. These are not profitable lawsuits for them. They generate these letters because a lot of people pay them. A lot of people do not know better and pay these. They say hindsight is 20/20.

There have been offices that are willing to go as far as putting a negative credit mark on a person’s report, but this is probably illegal. Furthermore, another reason to consider not paying this is that the letters are not civil compromises. Paying these letters does not make the criminal charges go away. The only thing these things go away is your nervousness and your money. At the end of the day you still have to deal with the Shoplifting Laws and the criminal charges involved with your Costa Mesa Shoplifting case.

Paying the letter will not make the case go away. It’s a quick fix for your anxiety and the like most quick fixes your shoplifting case will not disappear these letters regenerated in bulk. The companies who generate these letters make money off the people who are scared and pay them. These letters are not worth the paper they are printed on.​

Dispute your Civil Case

Attorneys who represent department stores will back down when they see a person has representation. 

2

Stay Away Order from the place

You will be ordered to stay away from the store and your information will be put into a database which will prevent you from going back to the store.

3

Criminal Record

You will also get a criminal record, however let’s say this happens, you can still get your case expunged later. However, until then you will have a misdemeanor on your record.

Misdemeanor Expungement

Misdemeanor Expungement will clear your record if you have only one crime.

Shoplifting laws are the same; however the consequences are different depending on which court you are at. Despite the name petty theft, having a history of petty theft is very detrimental to your future. Employers are very reluctant to hire anyone with a criminal record. This is even more so with a person with a theft crime in their background. You simply need to ask yourself, do you want someone with a theft background working for you?

Escape a Criminal Conviction

Keep your record clean with an award winning attorney.

4

Possible Jail Time

Penal Code 487

In some circumstances you can be exposed to jail time.

Using Your Clean Record to Dismiss the Case


Shoplifting Laws will differ from county to county. Some counties may not let a person do diversion. The best way to explain this is with an analogy. A diversion is when a person agrees to enter a plea of guilty to a charge on paper. The court will take this into account on a charge on Shoplifting and put it into his back pocket and not enter the judgment. The court will make the person agree to not having any further law enforcement contact for a period of time. If this happens then the court reopens the case and tear up the charge. The good thing about this is that the charges are never entered therefore it is never in the system. As a result, when the day comes to tear up this paper, it will be like the charge never happened. However this works as a double edge sword as well. If a person enters a guilty plea to the charge and messes up then the plea will be used against him.

Do you have a clean record?

We can use your spotless record as a reason to get you into a diversion program. 

For example, John enters a guilty plea and gets put on diversion then he goes out to Macy’s at South Coast Plaza and steals some clothes and gets caught then this guilty plea will be sued against him. There will not be much for the charging agency to do because the plea was already entered.


About Hieu Vu

Tustin's Criminal Defense Attorney

Tustin Criminal Defense Attorney

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“To the client, every angle is important, there’s a number of questions, and each person also have their own worries. Some will need a person to listen to them. At the end of the day, it’s more than just delivering legal results. I put a 110% into every person I work. I strive to make sure everyone knows what is going on and is kept in the loop as the case goes on. The practice of law is more than just getting the results in court.” -Hieu Vu

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