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  1. #1

    Default Penalties for Shoplifting in California

    Hi there,
    I am charged with shoplifting in CA (Santa Clara county) - first offense, value less than $200.
    I am wondering how big the likely penalty will be (he read everything from fines to probation to prison)?
    One thing I read about is "informal probation". What is that?

    Also what actually happened was that I put an item into a plastic bag while shopping because I had to much stuff in my hands. Then I simply forgot about it. Is there any possibility that a judge will believe that? Or will it be better to just plead guilty?

    Is it worth taking a lawyer? I read that they charge in the area of 2000 - 5000$ for something like that. But if the sentence is a fine of $1000, that doesn't seem to make sense, or does it?

    And my final question: I am in the US on a work visa? What will the effect be?

    Help, please.

  2. #2
    panther10758 Guest

    Default Re: Shoplifting CA - Penalties? Consequences? Can it be dismissed?

    Due to your imigration status I suggst you find an Attorney who works both criminal defense and immigration issues. Even with summary probabtion (no probation officer to see) your visa could be revoked or denied. Fines will be a few hundred dollars most likely with some community service and likely ban from retailer. The probabtion is fairly simple violate no laws, stay away from victim, pay your fines, complete community service and maybe a couple other items within two years or so.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Penalties for Shoplifting in California

    Thanks a lot for the response.

    How much do you think the cost of the attorney will be, roughly?

    Any chance a judge will believe my story and drop it?

  4. #4
    panther10758 Guest

    Default Re: Penalties for Shoplifting in California

    I would not suggest you use that as a defense. Its been tried countless times and failed. You meet criteria for a theft and were charged accordingly.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,437

    Default Re: Penalties for Shoplifting in California

    Quote Quoting klettermeister
    View Post
    ...

    Any chance a judge will believe my story and drop it?

    ....
    If the judge has been on the job more than 24 hours...the answer is NO.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Re: Penalties for Shoplifting in California

    Browse this forum. There are probably a couple of dozen, "My hands were full so I put it in my [bag/pocket/purse/etc.] and forgot about it." True or not, it's such a common excuse used by actual shoplifters that nobody believes it any more.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Penalties for Shoplifting in California

    Again thanks a lot for the responses.

    Any idea how much an attorney is going to cost me?
    Is a public defender an alternative I should think about?

    And one more question: I have recently applied for a job in Europe. What if I took that job and moved before the court date? Would I have to fly over to the US for it or how would such a thing be handled?

    Oh, and I was wondering if it makes any sense to talk to the store manager (which I wasn't able to when it happened). If he would believe my story and would be willing to drop the charges would that still be possible at this point or is it too late because the police already filed the report?
    Could talking to the store manager make it worse?
    Thanks so much!

  8. #8
    panther10758 Guest

    Default Re: Penalties for Shoplifting in California

    Any idea how much an attorney is going to cost me?
    That depends on what your Attoreny does and how much time is spent on your case. I would guess no less than $1000.00 minimum but thats just a guess

    Is a public defender an alternative I should think about?
    If you cannot afford to hire an Attorney yes request a public defender

    And one more question: I have recently applied for a job in Europe. What if I took that job and moved before the court date? Would I have to fly over to the US for it or how would such a thing be handled?
    It is your not place to be in court. If not a warrant for your arrest will be issued which will only compound your problems

    Oh, and I was wondering if it makes any sense to talk to the store manager (which I wasn't able to when it happened). If he would believe my story and would be willing to drop the charges would that still be possible at this point or is it too late because the police already filed the report?
    Could talking to the store manager make it worse?
    Thanks so much!
    If you already have a court date and are in court system yes its too late

  9. #9

    Default Re: Penalties for Shoplifting in California

    Thank a lot! You've been a great help.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Penalties for Shoplifting in California

    Aren't public defenders only available when the state is seeking jail time against the defender? I know in VA, the courts will not appoint a public defender unless the Commonwealth is seeking jail time. Also, if you lose your case, you must pay the public defender a fee (in felony cases).

    Maybe someone can shed some light on th CA Public Defender system.

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