Former Sr. Prosecutors | Torrance Petty Theft And Shoplifting Defense Attorneys
If you have been arrested for petty theft or shoplifting in Torrance, it is important that you consult with a criminal defense attorney experienced in defending theft charges out of the Torrance Court. Shoplifting is one of the most common 1st offense misdemeanor crimes in the South Bay, and the consequences of even a 1st offense shoplifting or petty theft conviction can extend beyond the potential jail time, fines, and probation you face. The long-term effects of a theft-related conviction on your criminal record can impact your future employment prospects, professional licensing, as well as citizenship. Whether you were wrongfully accused or simply exercised poor judgment, it is important for you to recognize the proper legal guidance and advocacy from an experienced Torrance shoplifting lawyer can increase your odds of avoiding a theft conviction on your record; either by trying your case to acquittal in trial or negotiating a dismissal of your shoplifting charge through a diversionary sentence.
Since 1987, Torrance criminal defense lawyers Eugene Hanrahan and Stephen Sitkoff have dedicated their law practice to defending all misdemeanor and felony crimes in the South Bay. Formerly deputy district attorneys in the Torrance Court, Mr. Hanrahan and Mr. Sitkoff possess both the legal expertise and relationships necessary to ensure our clients receive the best possible outcomes with their cases fought on an even playing field. Contact our Torrance criminal defense firm now at (424) 757-0865 for a free case review to learn what your options are and how we can help you achieve your goals.
Petty Theft VS. Shoplifting In Torrance
Petty theft as described under California Penal Code section 484(a) is the unlawful and intentional act of stealing the personal property of another, fraudulent appropriation of property entrusted to him or her, or defrauding another of money, labor, real or personal property under $950. This includes shoplifting under $950 from a retail store. Although shoplifting typically falls within the definition of petty theft, it is prosecuted under the more specific statute of California Penal Code 459.5 which describes shoplifting as:
Entering a commercial establishment (retail store) with intent to commit theft during normal business hours, where the value of the theft does not exceed $950.
Both petty theft and shoplifting are typically charged as misdemeanors; however, shoplifting can be elevated to a felony depending on your prior criminal history or if you are a registered sex offender under PC 290. Furthermore, shoplifting, where the value exceeds $950, will result in you being charged with grand theft under PC 487.
Shoplifting Penalties In Torrance
Your shoplifting and petty theft punishment is greatly influenced by the circumstances in your case. Factors such as your prior criminal history, the sophistication of the act, the value of the property stolen, and whether you acted alone or in concert with another weigh heavily on prosecutors’ and judges’ decisions to grant leniency. As a first offense, shoplifting and petty theft carry the following penalties in Torrance:
- Up to 6 months in LA County Jail
- Up to $1,000 fine
- Up to 5 years summary probation
- Community labor or service
- Victim Restitution
- Criminal Record
Avoiding A Shoplifting Or Petty Theft Conviction
Although a first-offense petty theft or shoplifting charge in Torrance Court rarely results in jail time, the real consequence of a theft crime conviction is the collateral impact of the criminal record it creates. Being branded a “thief” or “unreliable” by prospective employers and professional licensing boards can impede your career advancement, thus diminishing your future earning potential. This is a significant price to pay for what will likely be the first and only time you ever run afoul of the law. Fortunately, there are several plea bargains your theft defense lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutors and judges in the Torrance Court, which would result in NO theft-related conviction, or in some circumstances, NO criminal record.
Call Our Torrance Theft Defense Attorneys Now For A Free Case Review
Retaining an experienced and qualified criminal defense lawyer may be the single most important factor in avoiding a life-changing petty theft or shoplifting conviction. With over 70 years of combined criminal and theft defense expertise, we have established a reputation amongst each of the South Bay prosecuting agencies and judges as one of the most well-respected and experienced criminal defense law firms in Torrance. Call us now at our toll-free number (888) 579-4844 to learn more about how we can help you, or contact us online. We proudly serve the following cities in the South Bay: Torrance, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Lawndale, Gardena, Rolling Hills Estates, and Palos Verdes Estates.