A petty theft in Oceanside is prosecuted in Vista Courts, as are petty theft cases in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Escondido, San Marcos and Fallbrook. Most petty thefts occur in retail outlets and are also called shoplifting. Thefts of merchandise $950 or less in value are misdemeanors and carry fines and possible custody. Usually the individual is stopped by store security, interviewed by store security and held for the local police or sheriff to take over the investigation.
Law enforcement relies heavily on the interviews, statements and surveillance by the store security. Normally, law enforcement will view any video evidence and interview the suspect, then issue a citation for a misdemeanor petty theft with an appearance date in Vista Court approximately a month away. If you hire an attorney, the attorney can make the appearance for you, continue the case for negotiations, get the reports, discuss it with the District Attorney after reviewing the case with the individual and even resolve the case without the defendant appearing. While there are defenses, there are also lesser charges and penalties that can often be negotiated depending on the facts of the case, an individual's background and future, prior record etc.
It is important to contact a criminal defense to discuss the case, court proceedings, defenses as well as possible plea bargains. There are things that can be done even prior to the first Court date which can be helpful in negotiating these cases. Theft cases are crimes of moral turpitude and can affect your future, occupational licenses, employment, security clearances and immigration. Call Christoph Law Offices at 760-941-5720 for a free consultation. Located across from Vista Courts for over 34 years, we can help you get the best resolution in your case.