California Shoplifting & Theft Defense
Los Angeles Courts take Shoplifting Charges Very Seriously!
Shoplifting in California is defined as follows: “When someone intentionally steals, takes or carries away store property.” The legal name for shoplifting differs state to state. In Washington State, for example, the state does not separate Shoplifting – shoplifting there is just “THEFT.” Here, in California, shoplifting is broken out into a special criminal charge but is STILL extremely “SERIOUS,” and you can easily end up in jail!
Here in California, Shoplifting is broken out from other theft crimes and the seriousness of the charges depends on the value of the goods allegedly stolen:
- If someone is arrested for shoplifting less than $950 worth of property, then they may face charges for the California misdemeanor of petty larceny.
- If someone is arrested for shoplifting $950 or more worth of property, then they may be charged with the California felony of grand larceny.
Premeditated Shoplifting = Burglary
California retail theft (shoplifting / larceny) is delineated from the California crime of burglary. The more serious charge of Burglary is” “when a person enters any building with the intent to commit larceny (eg. shoplifting) inside of that building irrespective of whether any property is taken.”
What does this mean? – Someone may face both burglary and larceny charges in a shoplifting case if the prosecution believes that they intended to steal when they went into the store.
How would the police, the detective or the prosecutor know that “intent” was involved?
1) – If you have a history of retail theft.
2) – If you admit that you had planned to steal.
3) – If you wore special clothing designed to hide goods
4) – If you used a “Booster Box” or special equipment to hide merchandise
5) – If the police interview your friends or accomplices and they state that the stealing was pre-planned
Booster Devices? – This can include a variety of devices. A booster coat will have large pockets sewn inside, as will booster pants or skirts. They are generally large and baggy to conceal the hidden merchandise. Booster boxes may appear as a gift wrapped box but with a hinged, false door on the bottom. Backpacks, Books, Bibles, Strollers, all have been modified for “Burglary” purposes – an increased or enhanced charge beyond shoplifting / larceny.
California Shoplifting Defense Attorney
As a Criminal Defense Attorney, I understand how the state pursues shoplifting, theft and burglary charges and how to best protect you. It may be possible to arrange a “civil compromise” and pay back the person or store that you are accused of stealing from. If this arrangement is accepted, then the charges would be dropped.
If you are accused of Misdemeanor Theft in Los Angeles, it may be possible to get your case diverted into Community Court. In Community Court, depending on your past criminal history, it can be possible to get your charges reduced or even dismissed, in exchange for community service and classes.
If you need to go to trial on your theft charge, I have the experience you need. I will make the prosecution work for everything, and I will not stop fighting for you. I will file appropriate motions and challenge evidence. I will do everything I can to keep your record clean.
If you have been charged with California Theft, you need competent counsel today. Call me, Attorney Nicholas Rosenberg, for a FREE CONSULTATION and we will discuss your options.