Most petty theft cases in Oceanside and all of North County, involve the theft of merchandise from a store but may involve any theft where the value of the stolen property is $ 950 or less. Petty theft from a store is commonly referred to as "shoplifting". If the theft does not exceed $ 50 in value, the District Attorney has discretion to file the charge as an infraction with a fine only penalty. A 4th offense may be charged as a felony, it used to be a 2nd offense could have been charged as a felony only a couple of years ago. While the penalty for a petty theft carries potential jail time, probation, fines, search waiver classes and restitution, many times we can resolve these cases with lesser charges or penalties which also minimizes the future impact of any conviction.
Any theft related offense, including petty theft, is serious and in addition to the penalties, can effect occupational licensing, employment, bonding, security clearances, immigration and many other aspects of your life. Just because you think you are guilty does not mean that there is nothing that can be done. Even if there are no defenses, there are possible alternatives or factors that can be presented to dismiss, reduce the charge or minimize the consequences. Handling these cases for over 30 years, we understand what needs to be done to achieve the best result in your case. Call Christoph Law Offices @ 760-941-5720 for a free consultation and evaluation regarding your case. We are directly across from Vista Courts, serving Vista, San Marcos and all of North County.