Shoplifting: The FAQs

In the state of California, a theft occurs when a person takes possession of the belongings of another without permission.

This demonstrates the intent to permanently deprive the rightful owner of the property and moves the property from its present location for a period of time. When this theft takes place inside of a store or similar business establishment it is often referred to as shoplifting.

For persons accused of shoplifting, it is important to understand all aspects of the crime for which you have been accused as well as the steps needed to secure freedom and minimize the damage a shoplifting accusation can do to an individual’s life and future.

Once an arrest for shoplifting is made, the arrested person will need to contact a reputable bail bondsman. A bail bondsmen will help an accused individual by securing their freedom from jail until the individual is given the opportunity to defend themselves in court against shoplifting allegations.

Once out of jail the accused person should find understanding for a variety of questions that are common in this situation.

What Are The Maximum Penalties For Shoplifting?

First offenders for shoplifting in the state of California face maximum penalties of 6 months in jail and up to a $1000 fine. It is important to note that these punishments are not mandatory and are only a representation of the maximum penalties allowed under California law. Potential punishments in a particular case will be decided by the circumstances of the case if a finding of guilt is determined. 

For the most part, jail time is not usually given for first-time shoplifters. First-time offenders can usually expect a term of probation, a fine, and perhaps community service as punishment for a this conviction.

Do I Need A Lawyer If I Confessed To The Store?

Legal counsel to assist with lifting cases is highly suggested even if an individual feels there is overwhelming evidence against them. A common mistake in judgment for persons arrested for shoplifting is the tendency to think there is no need to mount a defense when evidence suggests guilt. This is untrue. Competent legal counsel can greatly improve the chances of minimizing damage from any convictions that may result from a shoplifting allegation.

Can A Shoplifting Conviction Have An Impact On Employment Opportunites?

There is no certain answer as to how a shop theft violation can affect future job prospects. For individuals who need or possess special licensing to work in their industry of choice, a criminal conviction of any kind can have serious potential consequences.
It is also important to understand that professional licensing application forms will question applicants in regard to past criminal history. The truthful disclosure of this information is required.
Licensing organizations consider the applications of persons with past criminal histories on a case by case basis and a criminal conviction is not always an immediate disqualifier. However, persons convicted of shoplifting should be ready to accept the possibility that their conviction can have future consequences.

Can Shoplifting Charges Be Diminished?

Shoplifting Charges in the State of California can be negotiated through the plea process and lowered to lesser offenses. Also, a person with a shoplifting case that is their first arrest is eligible to have the shoplifting case dismissed by what Is called deferred entry of judgment. With this plea, persons that complete a list of requirements by the court will have their shoplifting infraction dismissed and eliminated from their record.

The state of California is clear in its definition of what constitutes a shoplifting violation. Persons accused of shoplifting should first secure the services of reputable bails bondsmen in order to secure their freedom and position themselves to provide a defense against the allegations against them.

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