The back of a man in handcuffs

Petty Theft with a Prior

Picture of the back of a man wearing handcuffsGoing in front of a judge for petty theft can be very nerve-wracking, but adding the complication of prior convictions can really make it a serious event. The courts can give a certain amount of leeway and understanding of “mistakes” made when a first-time offense of petty theft happens, but each additional conviction tends to be viewed as an emerging pattern.

There is hardly an instance in life in which not following the rules repeatedly will not draw a harsher and harsher penalty, yet many people seem oddly surprised when the stakes go up in court for repeated law breaking. Repeat criminal behaviors are what brought about the “three strikes laws.” There are certain stipulations that apply, but it is remarkably easy to end up in serious trouble with what many view as “petty crime.”

The Definition of Petty Theft with a Prior

Some penal codes can vary, but it is generally understood in law that people that are charged with petty theft that have been previously convicted and have done time for 3 crimes such as burglary, robbery, grand theft and other theft-related activities will face harsher and harsher penalties. It can also spell trouble if you have been convicted of 1 theft related crime and either a sex-related crime or another type of serious felony.

Bail Cost for Petty Theft with a Prior

Each county tends to set their own amounts when it comes to bail, so it can really vary. The one thing that is a constant and a guarantee is that the amount is breathtakingly higher when it comes to misdemeanors and felony charges. A misdemeanor theft charge can be set at a mere $2,500 dollars, but a felony charge for theft can up the ante to several thousand dollars.

The amount that has to actually be paid to a bail bond company is not the amount in full. It is normally a small part of what the total bond amount is. The bond agency will gather all of the necessary information they need and can get someone released on bond fairly quickly and painlessly. There are usually options to make payments as well so that you do not miss more work than necessary, or have it cause too much of a financial burden for families.

Punishment Ranges for Petty Theft with a Prior

There is no real way to predict what the actual penalty will be for a particular charge, since petty theft with a prior can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail. If it is charged as a felony then it can mean up to three years in jail. That is a big difference. It only takes a few repeat shoplifting adventures to fall into the range of felony charge and consequence.

There are also increasing fines, attorney fees and probably some type of restitution amounts as well. All are given in the hopes that it deters future criminal behavior. If you find yourself, or someone you love facing petty theft with priors charges then it is advisable to get bail as soon as possible and begin working on a legal strategy.

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