Were you recently cited or arrested for shoplifting?
Shoplifting can ruin your life. We can help prevent a filing of shoplifting charges, have your case dismissed, and negotiate for the best resolution/settlement.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What does shoplifting mean and when is it considered shoplifting?
You can be convicted of shoplifting under California State Law (Penal Code section 459.5) if:
- You enter a commercial establishment,
- During regular business hours,
- With the intent to steal property valued at $950 or less.
Will shoplifting go on my record, or can the charges be dropped?
All convictions, including shoplifting convictions, will go on your record. However, shoplifting charges can be dropped or prevented. We can help prevent a filing of shoplifting charges or have your case dismissed by being your advocate with law enforcement and the prosecutorial agency.
Can shoplifting affect immigration, citizenship, or getting a job?
A shoplifting conviction can negatively impact your immigration status or citizenship application. It can also impact your employment prospects.
How do shoplifting and employee theft differ?
Shoplifting is committed when a person enters an open commercial establishment during regular business hours with a previously formed intent to steal merchandise valued at $950 or less.
Employee theft, specifically embezzlement under Penal Code section 503, is defined as “the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been entrusted.”
Employee theft is a type of embezzlement. Common examples of embezzlement by employees include overbilling customers, siphoning or stealing from the cash register, or forging company checks. The primary difference between shoplifting and embezzlement is the requirement of a relationship of entrustment. Shoplifters can, but do not need to have any relationship with the location they steal from, whereas embezzlement requires an element of misappropriation of another’s property that you are entrusted with. Another difference is that shoplifting must be committed at an open commercial establishment during regular business hours, an element not required for embezzlement.
Can you go to jail for shoplifting?
A misdemeanor shoplifting charge will have a maximum sentence of:
- Six months of jail; and/or
- $1000 in fines.
Is shoplifting a misdemeanor?
Shoplifting is a misdemeanor if the value of the property taken is $950 or less. If the value of the property taken is above $950, the prosecution has the discretion to file a felony burglary charge. A strong advocate on your side can try to convince a prosecutor to either decline filing charges or file a misdemeanor rather than a felony.
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