Aggravgating factors in petty theft cases in Oceaside are the same as in Vista, Carlsbad, Escondido or anywhere in California. The greater the value of the theft, the more serious it is. The way the theft was carried out is an important consideration. Was it just a spur of the moment petty theft and stuffed in a pocket or was an empty “booster bag” brought into the store, were changing rooms used? If it can be showed that it was planned before entering the store, a burglary could be filed as a felony or misdemeanor, increasing the exposure. Involving minors in the theft will increase penalties. Certainly prior record, especially prior theft related offenses, are a big aggravator in negotiating these cases.
Just like there are aggravating factors in petty theft cases, there are mitigating factors which can help get lesser charges or lesser penalties. These can be any extenuating circumstance concerning the theft like acceptance of resposnibility, reason behind the theft. Stealing food becuse you are trying to provide for your family is certainly more sympathetic than stealing a Gucci handbag. Your career, goals, education, isuues like alcohol or drug addiction all help better understand why the theft occurred. Military service is always an important considertion. Mental issues or disabilities, medications, tragic or traumatic life experience can also be very important and helpful in getting the best possible resolution. Therapy or counseling can be helpful.
There are a number of things which can aggravate or mitigate the offense. It is important to stress the mitigants, address the aggravants and provide the backup information necessary to establish credibility and verify, where possible, the factors that can reduce the charge or penalties. Attorneys Nicholas and William Christoph have handled hundreds of theft cases over more than 30 years in their exclusively criminal defense practice. Call 760-941-5720 for a free consultation.