Shoplifting Charges in California

Shoplifting Charges in California

If you are arrested for shoplifting charges in California, the fastest way to beat or reduce the shoplifting charges is the simple act of posting bail. When you contact a reputable bail bonds agent, you will be immediately out on the streets. The theory of your innocence will be more believable. A bail bond is simply a contract between you and the bail bond agent that you will appear for court when ordered and comply with terms of release. You pay the bail bond agent a premium to post the bail set by the court. This premium is typically ten percent. 

The presumption that a person would shoplift or is doing so as part of a larger criminal problem from drugs or mental illness are reduced when you prove that you could have afforded to purchase the item. When you post bail, you provide evidence to the court that this may be a reasonable misunderstanding or less serious case. Some people shoplift on a dare or under peer pressure from friends. Some people are kleptomaniacs who just like the thrill of taking things and sneaking away. For others, they honestly forgot about something they put in their pocket or purse as they were talking on the phone or shopping. 

Shoplifting laws in California define the offense as a misdemeanor for most people. There may still be very serious misdemeanor shoplifting penalties of six(6)-months in prison and/or a fine of up to one thousand ($1,000) dollars. Shoplifting in California is a theory that can be held on suspicion of attempt to take the property by concealing it. The legal definition of PC 459.5 Shoplifting [sic] is “entering an open business during normal operating hours with the intent to steal merchandise worth nine hundred and fifty ($950) dollars or less. Anything outside of what typically comes to mind in shoplifting, such as entering after hours to smash and grab, form the more serious charge of felony burglary. 

Shoplifting in California (in the sense of misdemeanor shoplifting penalties) is typically the equivalent of Petty theft California [sic]. Petty theft California [sic] is the unlawful taking of property worth nine hundred and fifty ($950) dollars or less. The distinction is that shoplifting does not require the act of succeeding, only the intent of seeking to accomplish petty theft. Generally speaking, when you look at the details of the shoplifting laws and the legal definition of PC 459.5 Shoplifting [sic] in particular, it would be difficult to prove a small grab-and-go is shoplifting if the shopper purchased other items. This is because the provision specifically requires that the intent to shoplift be formed “before” entering the store. However, the defendant may still be charged with petty theft if they succeed in taking the small item out of the store. 

When we consider what makes shoplifting a felony and felony shoplifting penalties under PC 459.5, we have to consider whether the defendant has a criminal record. If the defendant has a record for any serious crime like murder or rape, among other things, this will make the shoplifting a felony under PC 459.5. Felony shoplifting penalties will likely be enhanced by the extent of the defendants criminal record. The range of punishments begins with felony probation and ends with as much three(3) years imprisonment in a country jail, and/or a possible fine of ten thousand ($10,000) dollars or less. 

When shoplifting in California first offense [sic], the shoplifting penalties can include misdemeanor (summary) probation or various pretrial diversion programs that will not result in a criminal record. Shoplifting penalties can be severe if you talk to police or think you do not need legal help with shoplifting charges. Shoplifting in California first offense [sic] will not have the gravity of consequences that a criminal offense invokes if you seek legal help with shoplifting charges. 

When considering shoplifting laws in California for minors, under the store policy it may be a simple in-store detention of shoplifters. The in-store detention of shoplifters offers the minors an opportunity to work out their problems with help from their parents before police become involved. The shoplifting laws in California for minors are handled by a juvenile court system that generally works with the parents to understand how to best correct the behaviors. The minor may simply be given a warning for a first-time offense. In the worst case scenario, they may be sent to a juvenile detention center if it is likely they will re-offend and have other issues. Keeping all of this in mind, be careful when shopping to not bring yourself under false accusations of shoplifting by concealing items or tampering with them in any manner.

Posted in CA Laws Comments Off on Shoplifting Charges in California

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