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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    1

    Question Consequences of a Misdemeanor Shoplifting Case

    My questions involve criminal law for the state of California.

    My 19 year old cousin made a bad decision and got busted for shoplifting $60 worth of stuff at Urban Outfitters in California. He has no prior criminal record and is quite remorseful of what happened. Whatís done is done, and now he has decisions to make and consequences to face. As hard as it is, I have no doubt that he has learned his lesson from this- he is a good kid; but, he needs help.

    I have read online that items shoplifted between $50 and $400 constitutes a misdemeanor charge of petty theft. I am also aware that Urban Outfitters may file a civil demand against him. His court date is a month from now. My questions are the following:

    1) Will he receive this civil demand and have an opportunity to pay for it before his court date?

    2) How much do these civil demands usually cost for situations similar to his?

    3) For a misdemeanor case, is it really necessary to get a lawyer?

    4) What will happen if he shows up on his court date without a lawyer?

    5) What happens on his court date?

    6) Iím guessing he will go in front of the judge and will be given fines to pay,
    ordered community service, and assigned probation; am I correct?

    7) What would be a good estimate of the fines he has to pay; amount of community service; and length of probation?

    8) Does he have to pay anything on his court date? Or, will he be given time to pay whatever fines he incurs?

    9) How do the circumstances of his case change if he gets a lawyer, as opposed to not getting one?

    10) Iím aware that he also has the option of getting a public defender; whatís the process of getting one? Are they available on his court date, or is he supposed to call to schedule for one?

    11) Do misdemeanor charges stay on a personís record? Or, does it go away after he pays his fines, does his community service, and serves his probation?

    Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your time.


    -Concerned Cousin.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,006

    Default Re: In Need of Some Advice Concerning a Misdemeanor Shoplifting Case

    Will he receive this civil demand and have an opportunity to pay for it before his court date?
    We don't know when the civil demand will come. Why does it matter when it comes?
    2) How much do these civil demands usually cost for situations similar to his?
    We don't know for sure but 200-500 is not an unreasonable expectation.
    3) For a misdemeanor case, is it really necessary to get a lawyer?
    It is never smart to NOT have a lawyer, so yes, he really needs one. Consult some criminal defense attorny's via the net or phone book, most consults are free.
    4) What will happen if he shows up on his court date without a lawyer?
    Again, we cant predict what can happen. Get a public defender if you have to, one is better than none.
    5) What happens on his court date?
    plead guilty or not guilty and face the consequences
    ) I’m guessing he will go in front of the judge and will be given fines to pay,
    ordered community service, and assigned probation; am I correct?
    most likely

    You sound more like a concerned parent! Get advice from a local attorney who is familiar with the local system. Diversion programs are not available everywhere. Anytime you have a shoplifting conviction your going to face a potential job problem...who do you know wants to hire a convicted thief?
    You want to avoid a conviction. Period. The conviction stays on his record until he can qualify and return to court for possible expungment.

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