California Laws Against Shoplifting
Within California’s theft laws, individuals can be found guilty of shoplifting. Theft and robbery are terms that are often misused in our everyday conversations, and so this article will provide a brief summary of the elements of shoplifting and the potential penalties a person can face – if found guilty. If you have any questions, contact us today and receive expert guidance from our criminal attorneys.
Elements of the Crime
Generally, when a person enters a store (an open business) with the intention of stealing an item, they can be charged with shoplifting. They do not even have to run away with the item from the store. More specifically, California Penal Code 459.5 stipulates that shoplifting occurs (as petty theft) when a person enters an open business with the intention to steal goods/merchandise. To be deemed as shoplifting, the items the person intended to steal must have been worth less than $950. Otherwise, stealing items worth over $950 is called grand theft.
Penalties for Shoplifting in California
Shoplifting is not just a minor crime. A conviction can result in a misdemeanor that will require the convicted person to spend time in jail and pay fines. However, shoplifting can be charged as a felony depending on the context of the crime and the defendant’s previous criminal history. Possible reasons for a felony include previous offenses like murder or sex crimes. If you have been accused of shoplifting, it is highly recommended that you hire a criminal attorney. Those of us at Law Advocates Group have the years of experience to ensure you build the best defense for your case. Call us today.