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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    12

    Exclamation Petty Theft Misdemeanor in California

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: California

    Okay, I attempted to take some white t-shirts today (worth about $23) at a JCPenny and was detained right outside of the premises by Loss Prevention Officers. They took down my information, and a cop ended up coming by. I was cited and he released me and he explained to me that I'll end up having to pay over $900 to $1000.

    I've definitely learned my lesson. I was shaking the whole time and while in the room, just tried to keep calm by having a conversation with the LPOs about how their system works (and they were nice enough to explain how everything works and it was a good lesson. -Also a warning to those who are thinking of shoplifting, CCTV has eyes like a hawk, their cameras can rotate and zoom and everything.)

    Well, back to the topic, I've been reading through a lot of these threads, and I was wondering if it is possible if a public defender can lower my charge to an infraction instead of a misdemeanor. I am in no state to pay for any of these charges since I already have to pay for some $128 j-walking fine and I'm 18, I have no job, no income, and no parental support anymore. Life has been quite hard on me lately.

    If I can at least get it down to an Infraction, at least I will be in a better chance to pay the fine.

    Can you show me the step by step on how I can possibly lower my charge? My court date is on May 27th and I cannot afford an attorney. What do I do???

    Once again.
    -18 years old
    -no money
    -stolen stuff ($23)
    -clean record
    -how to get misdemeanor lowered to infraction

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,808

    Default Re: Petty Theft Misdemeanor in California

    Go see a Criminal Defense Attorney - many offer 1/2 hour consultations for free.

    This is what I was told (though I did eventually retain a lawyer).

    - At your arraignment, your plea is "I stand mute".
    - They will check over your finances, and if you qualify, you will be given a Public Defender.
    - Note: Public Defenders are NOT always free. Check your local county court website, here it's $210.
    - Next up is Pre-Trial conference. Hopefully, the D.A. can get you into a Diversion program, or have the charge reduced. Then you plead guilty to the reduced charge. Yes, you have a Criminal Record.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Petty Theft Misdemeanor in California

    Is there any other details possibly? Like is there a good chance I can get my charge reduced to an Infraction since it was under $50 worth of merchandise?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Petty Theft Misdemeanor in California

    Quote Quoting msere
    View Post
    Is there any other details possibly? Like is there a good chance I can get my charge reduced to an Infraction since it was under $50 worth of merchandise?
    This is up to the individual courts.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Petty Theft Misdemeanor in California

    Alrighty, thanks for your guys information. Any further input from others as well would be deeply and greatly appreciated.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Petty Theft Misdemeanor in California

    okay explain me this?

    You say the D.A. (District attorney correct?) can get me in a diversion program or reduce the charge? What is the diversion program? (anti-shoplifting course?) or reduce the charge? (Get it to an infraction[pc490.5]? - Since the amount of stolen goods was under $50)

    So okay, on May 27th, I go to court, wait in line, when I go inside the courtroom, they'll read me my citation, "how do you plea?", then I say "I stand mute." then what will they say?

    Can you give me a really good step by step on how this'll happen?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Petty Theft Misdemeanor in California

    Okay, so I talked to Mr. Ruff (an attorney) and he explained to me that when I go to court, I just ask for the Western Corrections diversion and the case will be dismissed.

    Dismissed as in, no record, no nothing? Explain please?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    12

    Unhappy Re: Petty Theft Misdemeanor in California

    Quote Quoting PandorasBox
    View Post
    Go see a Criminal Defense Attorney - many offer 1/2 hour consultations for free.

    This is what I was told (though I did eventually retain a lawyer).

    - At your arraignment, your plea is "I stand mute".
    - They will check over your finances, and if you qualify, you will be given a Public Defender.
    - Note: Public Defenders are NOT always free. Check your local county court website, here it's $210.
    - Next up is Pre-Trial conference. Hopefully, the D.A. can get you into a Diversion program, or have the charge reduced. Then you plead guilty to the reduced charge. Yes, you have a Criminal Record.

    Pandora, so your saying that even if they reduced the charge to an Infraction, it'd still be counted for a criminal record? So I'd have to put Yes for any job applications??


    By the way, court date is on the 27th of this month.
    So I say, "I stand mute."
    What if I do not qualify for an attorney? I know darn well I won't.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Petty Theft Misdemeanor in California

    Quote Quoting msere
    View Post
    Okay, so I talked to Mr. Ruff (an attorney) and he explained to me that when I go to court, I just ask for the Western Corrections diversion and the case will be dismissed.

    Dismissed as in, no record, no nothing? Explain please?
    *note, answering on behalf of looking at other people's story and some online research*

    i believe dismissed wil leave something on your record, id say court dismissed.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Petty Theft Misdemeanor in California

    Quote Quoting xieandy
    View Post
    *note, answering on behalf of looking at other people's story and some online research*

    i believe dismissed wil leave something on your record, id say court dismissed.
    Well my dad is going to help me get a Private Attorney since the Public Defender is already advising me to plead guilty at the FIRST arraignment...

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