Shoplifting Criminal Defense Attorneys
As early as possible after you or your child has been arrested for shoplifting, contact us at the Law Offices of Falangetti & Weimortz. As a team of former Deputy District Attorneys for Los Angeles County, we have an inside understanding of how law enforcement investigates these types of cases and how the prosecutor is likely to go about building the evidence against you.
Under state law, shoplifting is a petty theft crime offense which occurs when the value of stolen goods is no greater than $950. It includes not only concealing an item in a bag or under clothes with the purpose of smuggling the item out of a store, but also altering or removing a price tag or magnetic anti-theft device.
If you are convicted on the charges, you can be sentenced to pay a $1,000 fine and to serve up to six months in jail, as well as being placed on probation for several years. In cases where the stolen goods were of very low value, it may be possible to negotiate with the D.A. to have the misdemeanor reduced to an infraction - this type of reduction is based on the fact that shoplifting is a "wobblet," an offense that can sometimes be addressed in this way.
One of the most common defenses to a charge of shoplifting is to allege that the defendant simply did not have the intention of stealing the item. If, for example, it was in a purse or other open bag, it might be possible to argue that you merely placed it there with the intention of paying at the cash register, but then forgot about the item.
This is not always possible, but there are other approaches such as using evidence that demonstrates that you had reason to believe that you had a right to take the item or that it was already yours, or even that you have been falsely accused. Even if it is not possible to prove your innocence, a Long Beach criminal defense attorney may still be able to have the penalties reduced by negotiating a plea bargain. The key is to take action now - contact us now at (562) 256-7140 for a free consultation.