Shoplifting and petty theft in Oceanside and throughout California can be serious. They are misdemeanors if the value of the property stolen is $950 or less. Shoplifting is a petty theft if property is stolen from a commercial outlet. While the penalties carry up to 6 months custody and $1000 fine with additional assessments, few first offense cases result in actual Jail time other than a book and release. There could be probation, theft programs, fines, resitution if any loss and Cal Trans Public Work. The greatest consequence in these cases is how it may affect your future, jobs, vocational licenses and training, educational opportunities immigration, security clearances and future employment opportunities that would be denied as a result of a theft conviction.
Even if you do not have a defense, there are a number of factors that can be considered in Misdemeanor theft cases like shoplifting and petty theft that may help negotiiating your case through plea bargaining to minimize the consequences on you and your future. It could be lessser charges, infractions instead of misdemeanors, lesser penalties, expungement, military diversion or possibly deferred prosecution or civil compromise dismissals in some cases.