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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    2

    Default Shoplifting in California

    Hi, my girlfriend was caught shoplifting from a clothing store in California and we needed some help clarifying a couple things. First of all, this is the first time she has ever shoplifted and she really regrets her actions and is very sorry for what she did. She was caught, was very cooperative with the police, and then she had to spend the night in jail, where I picked her up the next morning. Now this is where I'm a little confused. I read somewhere on this forum that if someone is caught with less than $50 in Calfornia then it would be only an infraction? She was caught with $48 of merchandise but her "notice to appear" slip says that she was charged with PC 490.1 (A) and the Misdemeanor is circled. Can anyone please help me clarify this. ALso too, can someone tell me our options and what we should do. This is her first offense of any type, she has never even gotten a traffic ticket. Any type of assistance would be greatly appreciated as both of us are very confused and scared of what may happen.

    We are also trying to find the most economical way to do things as we are both college students paying for our own tuition. The police also towed her car (refused to let me drive it home) which costed her $400. Thanks for your time!

  2. #2
    panther10758 Guest

    Default Re: shoplifting in california

    Quote Quoting jumpman23
    View Post
    Hi, my girlfriend was caught shoplifting from a clothing store in California and we needed some help clarifying a couple things. First of all, this is the first time she has ever shoplifted and she really regrets her actions and is very sorry for what she did. She was caught, was very cooperative with the police, and then she had to spend the night in jail, where I picked her up the next morning. Now this is where I'm a little confused. I read somewhere on this forum that if someone is caught with less than $50 in Calfornia then it would be only an infraction?Wrong She was caught with $48 of merchandise but her "notice to appear" slip says that she was charged with PC 490.1 (A) and the Misdemeanor is circled. That is corectCan anyone please help me clarify this. ALso too, can someone tell me our options and what we should do. This is her first offense of any type, she has never even gotten a traffic ticket. Any type of assistance would be greatly appreciated as both of us are very confused and scared of what may happen.

    We are also trying to find the most economical way to do things as we are both college students paying for our own tuition. The police also towed her car (refused to let me drive it home) which costed her $400. Thanks for your time!

    Her options are simple contact a criminal defense Attorney right away and get some sound advice of whicha can include

    . Reduction of charge
    . Diversion programs
    . Pleading not guilty

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Shoplifting in California

    We dont have enough money for a criminal defense attorney. So then it is in fact a Misdemeanor even though it was only $48 of merchandise? Thanks in advanced for everything.

  4. #4
    panther10758 Guest

    Default Re: Shoplifting in California

    Yes its a midemeanor. Many Attorneys will grant you one free office visit. During that visit you can get many answers then once you go to court request public defender

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    18

    Default 490.1 (a) Shoplifting in California

    Your question indicates that you think they must charge as an infraction because the value is less than $50. But, here is what the code sez:

    "490.1. (a) Petty theft, where the value of the money, labor, real
    or personal property taken is of a value which does not exceed fifty
    dollars ($50), MAY (emphasis added) be charged as a misdemeanor or an infraction, at
    the discretion of the prosecutor, provided that the person charged
    with the offense has no other theft or theft-related conviction.


    This indicates that the prosecutor has the discretion to charge either way; in your girlfriend's instance, the prosecutor chose to charge her with a misdemeanor--tough break. But as the statute reads, this may be done.

  6. #6
    panther10758 Guest

    Default Re: Shoplifting in California

    You should discuss the possibilty of Diversion with an Attorney court appointed or otherwise.

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