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Shoplifting is a serious theft crime in Southern California that is associated with criminal penalties, such as jail time and fees. Furthermore, on top of criminal penalties, shoplifters also face civil lawsuits by victimized merchants to recover damages.
If you were recently arrested and charged with shoplifting in Ventura County, Wilfert Law, PC is ready to protect your rights, reputation, and freedom. With more than a decade of experience, our Ventura criminal defense lawyer has successfully handled hundreds of cases and has a comprehensive understanding of police procedures and investigations.
In California, shoplifting is considered as theft, which means the act of stealing, carrying away, or otherwise appropriating another person's property, with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of that property. Theft is divided into two basic categories – petty theft and grand theft – according to the dollar amount of goods stolen.
The following are penalties for shoplifting based on the dollar value:
- Less than $50 with no prior convictions (petty theft)
- Fine of up to $250
- More than $50, but less than $950 (petty theft)
- Maximum jail sentence of six months
- Fine between $50 and $1,000
- $950 or greater or theft of a firearm (grand theft)
- Maximum prison sentence of one year
- Jail time for 16 months, two years, or three years if the charge was based on stealing a firearm
In addition to criminal penalties, an adult or emancipated minor shoplifter can be held civilly liable to the owner of the merchandise if damages of at least $50 but not more than $500 occurred. Or, if the retail value of the merchandise stolen, if it is not recovered in a condition that is deemed sellable.
Let Our Ventura Criminal Defense Attorney Start Your Case Today
In order to obtain the most favorable outcome possible in a shoplifting case, it is imperative to obtain legal representation from an experienced and reliable lawyer. Do not hesitate to reach out to our firm in order start building your defense strategy right away.